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Entire Family Disappears in Southern California

Aired February 1, 2011 - 21:00:00   ET



NANCY GRACE, HOST: Vanished into thin air.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just need to kind her.

GRACE: So many cases --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re still looking.

GRACE: -- so few leads.



GRACE: Missing person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s our duty to find her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The witness had seen the suspect on NANCY GRACE.

GRACE: There is a God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NANCY GRACE show was out there for us.

GRACE: Found alive.

Fifty people, 50 days, 50 nights.

Let`s don`t give up.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They never had babysitters. I mean, they were always -- just the four of them were together all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Joseph McStay lived on a quiet cul- de-sac in San Diego County`s Fallbrook with his wife and two young boys.

JOSEPH MCSTAY, MISSING FATHER: Jay (ph), did you just make the perfect latte?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighbors remember them as a loving couple devoted to their children. But on February 4, 2009, Joseph, Summer, 4- year-old Gianni and 3-year-old Joseph Jr. vanished without a trace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love her. I want my family home safe. I want them to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chilling clues inside the home indicates a family who disappeared without warning. Left behind, eggs on the kitchen counter and the family`s two dogs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we`re still reviewing tapes, following up on some tips that we`ve received, both from the public and family members. Also going through additional records, financial records, both their personal records, as well as business records.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four days later, their SUV, an Isuzu Trooper, found abandoned along the U.S./Mexico border in a strip mall parking lot. Investigators confirm they believe the SUV parked there between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. the day it`s located.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don`t understand what happened and I just want them to be back home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surveillance video showing two adults and two children crossing into Mexico, plus an alleged sighting at a restaurant in Baja. Both prove inconclusive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had a very good life. There was no reason at all to just up and, poof, disappear. I worry about these babies and, are they fed, are they warm, are they, you know, happy? Are they sad?

You know, you pray and then you -- I`m sorry -- cry yourself to sleep.


GRACE: Every day 2,300 people go missing in America. Disappear. Vanish. Their families left waiting, wondering, hoping, but never forgetting. And neither have we.

Fifty people, 50 days, 50 nights we go live, spotlighting America`s missing children, boys, girls, mothers, fathers, grandparents. They are gone. But where?

Tonight, live, Fallbrook, California, just north of San Diego. The McStays, a happy family of four -- mommy, daddy, two boys, 3 and 4 years old. Daddy`s got his own business. Mommy working on a real estate license.

February 9, 2010, Joseph McStay`s brother calls and calls. No answer. When a friend checks on the home, they find the family dogs inside barking, the breakfast still sitting out on the counter waiting to be cooked up for the two boys.

All the family`s personal belongings, their effects, in tact in the home. Only one thing`s missing -- the family. They`ve never been seen again.

Tonight, where are the McStays?

Straight out to Teri Figueroa, reporter with "The North County Times."

Teri, thank you for being with us. What happened?

TERI FIGUEROA, "NORTH COUNTY TIMES": Well, all we know is that this story really ends, if you will on, on February 4th. They just simply disappeared.

Four days later, their car was towed, but no one knew at the time that they were missing, so it didn`t raise any red flags until their brother of Joseph McStay, finally contacted police on the 15th and said, we don`t know where they are.

GRACE: You are seeing video of the McStay family. There`s a mommy, a daddy and two boys: Joseph "Joey" Brian McStay, 40 years old, 5`9", 175 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. Summer McStay, 43, 5`5", 115 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. Gianni McStay, just 4 years old, 3 feet, 40 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. And little Joseph McStay, 2`6", 35 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, birthmark on the forehead.

These are some of the last images we have of the McStay family.

Out to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, "In Session."

Jean, give me the timeline. What happened?

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": OK. It`s February 4th, almost one year ago to the day, Nancy, 2010, and we now know the day seemed to start out pretty normally, because the husband`s credit card was used in the morning hours, it`s believed by his wife, Summer, to buy some toys for the kids and maybe some towels.

A neighbor`s surveillance video camera sees what`s believed to be the family car back out of the driveway at 7:47 p.m. February 4th, never to be seen again. And here`s what`s left in the house. Eggs are left out on the kitchen counter. The prescription dark glasses of Summer`s are on the counter. And most of all, their two dogs that they loved and considered as their first born children were left in the back yard without any food.

GRACE: Take a look at the McStays. You`re seeing video of Summer McStay and her baby, Joseph McStay. There`s the other son, Gianni.

What do they do for a living? What do we know about them, Teri Figueroa?

FIGUEROA: Well, Joseph McStay designed high-end interior water fountains, the sort that you might see in corporate headquarters. And Summer McStay was at a stay-at-home mom, but she was just getting back into the real estate business. She had a license.

GRACE: With me right now, a special guest. Michael McStay joining us out of Irving, California. He is the brother of Joseph McStay.

Michael, thank you for being with us.

MICHAEL MCSTAY, JOSEPH MCSTAY`S BROTHER: It`s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

GRACE: Yes, sir.

Let`s go back through what we know. Back me up to February 4, 2010. Tell me what happened just prior to that.

M. MCSTAY: Prior to that everything was normal. But on February 4th, pretty much everything stopped.

Cell phones stopped. Summer got a couple of texts on I think the 6th, but the paper trail, the banking transactions, everything pretty much stopped. And then, all of a sudden, the vehicle shows up on Monday the 8th.

GRACE: Michael, where were they going that evens around 7:30 p.m.?

M. MCSTAY: We don`t know.

GRACE: Tell me, what can you tell us about trying to reach them? I understand that you called and called the home.

M. MCSTAY: Joey and I normally talk on Fridays. We usually talk once or twice a week. He`d call me.

It was actually on the 9th that I was talking with my father. He got an e-mail from someone that oversees Joey`s Web site. And they said, you know, basically they couldn`t get a hold of Joey, and so this is Web Dan (ph).

Dan (ph) basically called, San Diego Sheriff`s Department, has the sheriff`s department doing a welfare check on Wednesday the 10th. And, you know, basically on the 13th, I go down and crawl through a window, and I`m looking for phone numbers or -- you know, that`s kind of what got it going.

GRACE: So when the police went there, they couldn`t determine whether anything was wrong. Then you go the next day, crawl through a window.

And what did you find inside, Michael?

M. MCSTAY: I saw the house in disarray, but I knew that they were doing a remodel. The cupboards were out. They were on top of the counters.

I didn`t catch the eggs. I didn`t catch her glasses. I didn`t catch the popcorn on the sofa.

I don`t have crime-fighting eyes. I missed all that stuff. When the detectives --

GRACE: So popcorn was still sitting out on the sofa as if they had been watching TV?

Marc Klaas, president and founder, Klaas Kids Foundation, this is your forte. What do you think?

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, these are people that disappeared off the face of the earth.

I watched a lot of the videos that are on YouTube, and this is obviously a very upbeat, loving family. My best guess -- and certainly that`s all any of us have here, Nancy -- is that whatever happened to them happened to them on that very first evening, and that perhaps the car was taken to San Ysidro as a diversion from what really happened. But I suspect that they were probably victims of some kind of a horrendous crime.

GRACE: We are taking your calls.

To Linda in Oklahoma.

Hi, Linda.

LINDA, OKLAHOMA: Hi, Nancy. Thank you for taking my call.

GRACE: Thank you for calling in, dear. What`s your question?

LINDA: I have a question. There`s a family that`s missing from Oklahoma called the Jamison (ph) family, and their case is eerily similar to this case with the abandoned car, the abandoned dogs with no food and water.

Have they maybe linked this family to other missing family cases in the area?

GRACE: That`s a great question.

Jean Casarez, what do we know?

CASAREZ: This is the only family that has been missing from this area. But it is so close to the Mexican border.

San Ysidro is where the car was found and the video that it was believed at one point that it was the family walking over. That`s over into Tijuana. That`s how close you are to Mexico.

GRACE: You`re taking a look at the McStay family -- father Joseph "Joey" Brian McStay, age 40; Summer McStay, age 43; Gianni McStay, 4; Joseph McStay, 3. An entire family gone missing.

Take a look at these little boys. Obviously loved by their parents.

The family dogs found left unattended, they are barking. Food is still on the counter to be cooked up for breakfast.

Tell me again, Jean, about them heading out to make purchases.

CASAREZ: That was -- now, this was found after the fact, of course, after search warrants were executed and they were able to get these records. But Joseph McStay`s credit card had been used that morning, it was believed by Sunny, and it was some children`s toys, I believe, and maybe some towels or beach towels.

And then there was that video surveillance from a neighbor that caught the back end of a car driving out of the driveway, but it was white and it matched the McStays` car. And then there was a phone call 8:15 that evening, on Tuesday, the 4th of April, that was made by Joseph McStay to one of his employees, and that was it.



J. MCSTAY: Hi, Jay (ph). Did you just make the perfect latte?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Home video shows the bond between Joseph McStay, his wife Summer, and their two little boys. In late 2009, the family of four had just settled into their new home in San Diego County. Within months, the McStays fall off the face of the earth, vanishing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know they didn`t skip town. I know they wouldn`t hurt one another. They`re beautiful, amazing people, and they were very happy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: February 4, 2010 is the last time anyone has heard from the McStay family. When Joseph`s brother went to the home 10 days later, he found the family dogs left alone, unfed, and food still sitting on the kitchen counter.

And what about the family van found abandoned four days later in a San Ysidro parking lot?

GRACE: Where exactly along the border was their vehicle discovered?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was actually about two blocks from the crossing itself in a private parking lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police recovered grainy surveillance video showing two adults and two children crossing the border by foot. But cops have been unable to confirm the McStays are the ones seen on the video.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. Out to the lines.

Stacey in Ohio.

Hi, Stacy.

STACY, OHIO: Hi, Nancy. I have a comment and a question.


STACY: Who could ever do that to a child? I mean, really.

And my question is, did they inspect the trunk and the car?

GRACE: Good question. As far as who could do that to a child, let me tell you something, Stacy. I have looked across courtrooms at defendants, felony defendants, for years wondering why. And never once have I ever gotten an answer that was satisfactory.

Finally, after about seven years of doing it, I tried to quit wondering why, because why doesn`t really matter. What matters is, did this thing happen, can we save the child, is there any way to save the child? Is there any way to put things back together again?

And if there`s not, can we put the perpetrator behind bars -- or worse? That`s the way I see it now.

What do you think, Marc Klaas? Do you ever get caught up in the why?

KLAAS: Well, you know, there are people who are specially trained to do that. There are the FBI profilers, there are psychiatrists and psychologists that spend entire careers looking into the mind of violent criminals --

GRACE: And what does it get you, Marc?

KLAAS: Well, it gets you nothing, because I certainly don`t try to go there. I can`t go there, nor I don`t believe can any normal law-abiding citizen put their mind where these people`s minds are. Perhaps some of the profilers can.

I understand that a lot of these individuals have to retire early because the psychological strain becomes so heavy upon them. But I don`t think any of us should even attempt to go there because we`ll never be able to get there.

GRACE: Well, you know what? There`s a huge fascination about why.

Let me go to Dr. Lillian Glass.

Why do people do this? So, in the end, so we find out why they did it. Where does that get me? The child is still abused or killed or missing.

What good does it do me to do mental gymnastics to find out why these people do these things?

DR. LILLIAN GLASS, PSYCHOLOGIST: You`re absolutely right, Nancy. It doesn`t matter. What matters is to find --

GRACE: It just gets me more upset trying to figure out why.

GLASS: Exactly. Exactly, because it doesn`t matter why. You just said it so well.

But one of the things with this family that`s very important, and Marc Klaas said it, they`re such a beautiful, loving family.

GRACE: They really are.

GLASS: They care so much about one another. And they`re so wonderful.

And perhaps the fact that they left the dogs alone without any food may have been an indication that they thought they were going to come back soon. So something strange happened there.

GRACE: You know, that`s a mild way of putting it, something strange.

To Teri Figueroa with "The North County Times," joining us from Escondido, California.

I assume that the car trunk was searched.

FIGUEROA: Yes. In fact, the whole car was searched.

What they found was the children`s car seats were still in the car. And Summer was, from what I understand, quite a stickler for her children`s safety, and she would never have allowed them to go into Mexico without having car seats.

GRACE: Never. Never.

FIGUEROA: So that`s definitely a mystery.

GRACE: Out to Pat Brown, criminal profiler, author of "The Profiler."

What do you make of this question from Stacy, Ohio, "Why?"

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I think when we`re looking at people`s minds, I mean, we have to look at why only for understanding their behaviors and then being able to predict what they might do. That`s very important.

This family, I don`t know. Maybe they just planned to go for the evening. It`s a short little jaunt in there. Maybe they went over and got kidnapped. Or if that wasn`t what happened, they were planning something.

GRACE: And, you know, with the crime rate in Mexico, it`s just stunning to me that anybody would go there with their children. But unless they went across the border illegally, there`s no evidence they ever willingly went to Mexico.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): With more questions than answers, the FBI and San Diego County authorities continue to search for a missing family that was last seen February 4, 2010. Forty-year-old Joseph McStay, his wife Summer, and two sons, Gianni and Joseph Jr., vanish from their Fallbrook home, leaving behind their two dogs and a carton of eggs on the counter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a beautiful, wonderful mother, wife, daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re still reviewing tapes, following up on some tips we received. Personally, I`ve been in law enforcement over 30 years and I`ve never seen anything like this.


GRACE: We are taking your calls.

To Laura in Pennsylvania.

Hi, dear.


GRACE: I`m good. What`s your question?

LAURA: I have two questions, actually.


LAURA: When the police -- after the family vanished, they searched the home. Did they find credit cards, licenses, birth certificates for the children? And also, have the Mexican authorities been alerted with posters or anything like that on this family?

GRACE: That`s a good question.

Let`s go to Michael McStay. He is Joseph McStay`s brother.

Did they find those important documents in the home, Michael?

M. MCSTAY: They know a few things. They know that Summer`s passports expired. Joey`s passport is current. Gianni`s birth certificate is accounted for. And Joey Jr., who had a birthday yesterday -- he`s 4 now -- they don`t have -- or actually, my mother has his birth certificate.

GRACE: So you`re saying that your brother`s passport was still current but hasn`t been accounted for.

M. MCSTAY: My brother`s passport is current. I don`t know where it`s at, but I know that`s what the detectives told me.

GRACE: So it was not found in the home? Are you saying it was not found in the home, or you don`t know whether it was found in the home?

M. MCSTAY: I do not know if it was found in the home. The detectives --

GRACE: Let me ask you this, Michael. Do you really believe your brother would have just disappeared into Mexico and never let you guys or your parents know that they were still alive?

M. MCSTAY: Absolutely not. No. I don`t believe he would do that. He`s not that type of person.

GRACE: Have you seen this video, Michael? It`s a silhouette of a family walking across the border. Have you seen that video?

M. MCSTAY: I`ve seen it about a thousand times. I could probably recite the thing (ph).

GRACE: Is it them?

M. MCSTAY: Possibly the boys, possibly Summer, but I don`t recognize my brother in that. I can spot my brother anywhere, but I couldn`t I.D. him in that, no.



GRACE: Vanished into thin air.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just need to find her.

GRACE: So many cases.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re still looking.

GRACE: So few leads.


GRACE: Missing person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s our duty to find her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The witness seen the suspect on Nancy Grace.

GRACE: There is a God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy Grace show was out there for us.

GRACE: Found. Alive. 50 people, 50 days, 50 nights. Let`s don`t give up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They never had baby sitters. I mean, they were always, just the four of them were together all the time.

GRACE (voice-over): Joseph McStay lived on a quiet cul-de-sac in San Diego County Fallbrook with his wife and two young boys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jay, did you just make the perfect latte?

GRACE: Neighbors remember them as a loving couple devoted to their children, but on February 4th, 2009, Joseph, Summer, 4-year-old Gianni and 3-year-old Joseph Jr., vanished without a trace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love her. I want my family home safe. I want them to come home.

GRACE: Chilling clues inside the home indicates a family who disappeared without warning. Left behind, eggs on the kitchen counter and the family`s two dogs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, we`re still reviewing tapes, following up on some tips that we received both from the public and family members, also going through additional records, financial records, both their personal records as well as business records.

GRACE: Four days later, their SUV, an Isuzu Trooper, found abandoned along the U.S./Mexico border in a strip mall parking lot. Investigators confirm they believe the SUV parked there between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. the day it`s located.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just don`t understand what happened. I just want them to be back home.

GRACE: Surveillance video showing two adults and two children crossing into Mexico. Plus, an alleged sighting at a restaurant in Baja. Both prove inconclusive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had a very good life. There was no reason at all to just up and poof and disappear. I worry about those babies and are they fed, are they warm, are they, you know, happy, are they sad? You know, you pray and then you -- I`m sorry -- cry yourself to sleep.


GRACE (on-camera): We are taking your calls. Where are the McStays? I want to go back to Joseph McStay`s brother, Michael McStay, joining us tonight. Let`s see that video, again, Dana. I want to see the video of the family crossing the border. Michael, you said that you may be able to make out the mom or the children, but it was not your brother. Do you believe that was the mother? Summer?

MICHAEL MCSTAY, BROTHER OF MISSING DAD/HUSBAND, JOSEPH MCSTAY: It`s kind of hard to tell. After they did the video enhancement, they thought they could make out what appears to be UGG boots, and Summer did always wear UGG boots. So, you know --

GRACE: But other than the boots --

MCSTAY: It kind of goes that direction. Yes. I mean, you saw the video. It`s terrible.

GRACE: I`m looking at it right now. I can`t make a thing out. I mean, that is of no evidentiary value to me, but I thought maybe you -- let me ask you this.


GRACE: If it were her and the two children, had she had marital discord with your brother? Is there some reason she would have taken the children to Mexico?

MCSTAY: I sure hope not. There`s no evidence of that. I mean, you know, they were together for over five years. They got married about three years ago. They kind of got a little -- I guess they`re excited, but anyway, they loved each other.

GRACE: Excited. I`m sorry, I couldn`t hear you. Excited about what?

MCSTAY: Each other, you know? I was making a joke. How they kind of got the cart before the horse, you know, but --

GRACE: But they look so happy.

MCSTAY: They are happy. And that`s part of the mystery.

GRACE: So, let me get this straight. One more time. Michael McStay, you can`t even say 50/50 that was them in the silhouette?

MCSTAY: I would actually go lower than that. My first -- the first time I saw it, I said, I hope this isn`t the best you have. Possibly, the children look age and size appropriate. Maybe that`s Summer. Maybe, it`s --

GRACE: That could be anybody. That could be anybody, then.

MCSTAY: I know.

GRACE: OK. All right. Let`s go back to what we know. The car that was parked in that strip mall, did none of those stores have video surveillance of the car getting parked and who got out of the car?

MCSTAY: There were video cameras, actually, everywhere on that. There was a bank right there. There was -- I mean, I went down there. I went and talked to the security guard, but no, nothing was caught.

GRACE: Oh, man.

MCSTAY: And we tried to do, you know, we had Texas Equusearch out, and we tried to do -- we even had -- they had connections through the NASA. They tried to do satellite digital imaging, but that night was extremely cold. It was about 50 degrees, and there was such a heavy marine layer. There was no way to do any video imaging to see when the car arrived, when, who got out of the car.

GRACE: Got it.

MCSTAY: The detectives tell me that all the seats were appropriate to the size of, you know, the McStay Family, but still nothing.

GRACE: And what about the sighting, this alleged sighting in Baja at a restaurant?

MCSTAY: That`s Mama Espinosa`s. That was in actually Guerrero Negro. There`s a good friend of mine that was willing to go down to the Baja Peninsula three times already and pass out fliers, talk to people. And that waiter is still convinced to this day that he even said, you know, what happened, did she bump her head? Did she hit her head? You know --

GRACE: What are you talking about?

MCSTAY: Chubba is the nickname that we have for the littlest one, Baby G and Baby J, but J has a birthmark on his forehead. And the waiter said to my friend, said, what happened to her? Did she bump her head? To me that was the most credible that that resonated with me. But when they checked the map that supposedly they left, there was the fingerprints didn`t line up. So, was it a good lead? Maybe. But, you know, there was no --

GRACE: You really do not believe, Michael, you really do not believe your brother, what about your sister-in-law? Would she bump off your brother and take the children to Mexico? Is she capable of that?

MCSTAY: I sure hope not. I don`t believe so.

GRACE: No, no, no. Do you think she is or not?

MCSTAY: I hope not. No.

GRACE: Because everything I`ve learned about the family says no. That she would never have taken the father away from those children. Would never happen. They were together all the time. From our research, there`s no indication of marital discord. No other lovers, no fighting over money. Nothing. They were happy. Nothing to suggest either one of them would take the children and head to Mexico. But what about them as a family? You say they would never have left you and your parents hanging, not knowing whether they were dead or alive, right, Michael?

MCSTAY: Absolutely.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Ray Giudice, Hugo Rodriguez. Weigh in, Hugo.

HUGO RODRIGUEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This is very unusual, and I`ve been troubled by this since the story came out a long time ago, and I just have no clues. We don`t know if something happened to them. We don`t know if they voluntarily left, but it looks like all the leads have been covered, but we just have a lot of unanswered questions, Nancy. I`m perplexed.

GRACE: Raymond?

RAYMOND GIUDICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there`s no crime to vanish. You`re entitled to make yourself invisible, unless, you`re avoiding law enforcement. The one thing I want to point out is, that if these parents purposely and voluntarily placed these very young children, one of whom had asthma medication nearby in a dangerous or unhealthy environment, they might be looking at a stretch, some sort of child endangerment or reckless conduct to the children.

GRACE: Yes. You know what, that is a stretch, but good stab at it, Giudice.

Everyone, quick break. We`re taking your calls. Tonight`s case alert, a miracle, after reporting on our show last night about a 16-year- old girl disappeared, she is found safe. Bianca "BB" Barnes, daughter of a Fulton County deputy, reported missing Thursday, last seen getting on a public bus on her way to school. Tonight, Bianca, safe, returned to her family.

And tonight, please help us find a missing girl, Erin Pospisil, 15 years old, vanishes June 3, 2001, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Take a look. White female, 5`2", 125 pounds, dark brown hair, red highlights, brown eyes. Beautiful brown eyes. If you have info, call 319-286-5400.

If your loved one is missing and you need help, go to Send us your story. We want to help.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had a very good life, so there was no reason at all to just up and poof and disappear.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The couple was last heard from on February 4th. On the 6th, both of their cell phones died. Then, on the 8th, their Isuzu Trooper was found two blocks from the Mexican border. Police say the family did not pack to go on vacation. Their two dogs left without food and water in the backyard.

GRACE: So, you`re telling me that there in the home when cops arrived they found refrigerated items left out? Like milk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, refrigeratable items were left out along with they did find the family`s dog there unattended, uncared for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police thought they may have gotten a break in the case when grainy surveillance video captured two adults and two young children cross into Mexico in the same area the day the vehicle was found.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s important the more that`s out there, the better chances we would have of someone coming forward with some bit of information that might lead us in the right direction.


GRACE: Back to the lines. Jessica in South Carolina. Hi, Jessica.

JESSICA, SOUTH CAROLINA: Hi, Nancy. How are you? I have a quick question. Could they have had any enemies or ran into any trouble to suddenly just make the decision that their lives are in danger, had to suddenly disappear or go into witness protection? And if that`s possible, could they know someone far away that could be helping them out?

GRACE: Good question. To Teri Figueroa, what do we know, Teri?

VOICE OF TERI FIGUEROA, REPORTER, NORTH COUNTY TIMES: What we do know is with regard to Mexico, on the 27th and the 28th, which is about a week before they went missing, there were inquiries made from a computer inside the home to a website, I believe it was And the questions were about travel in Mexico and passports for children going to Mexico.

GRACE: Repeat. Tell me again.

FIGUEROA: About a week before they disappeared, someone from inside the home could have been Summer, could have been Joey, could have been anyone, sent an e-mail query to a website called, I believe it was and had asked questions on that website. It`s a place where you go to ask questions about travel in Mexico and about passports for children.

GRACE: Was there any indication that they, from the search, that they were trying to get a passport, Teri?

FIGUEROA: We haven`t seen the actual questions. We`ve only been told by investigators that these were the queries that someone used the family computer to make.

GRACE: Jean Casarez, what do we know about it?

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": The only thing we know that goes against all of that is that Summer McStay had told her friends, you know, we want to go on a vacation, but I don`t want to go to Mexico, and she was very, very strong about that because they lived so close to the border, but she thought it was dangerous, and she didn`t want the family to go there.

GRACE: Sarah in New York. Hi, Sarah.

SARAH, NEW YORK: Hi. I have a statement and a question.


SARAH: The statement is, nobody really knows what happens behind closed doors, so is it possible in any way that the father could have possibly done anything to the family? And taken them to Mexico for some unknown reason for kidnapping?

GRACE: I think that everything, anything is possible, but I don`t think that any of the evidence suggests that that happened. Marc Harrold, what do you make of it?

MARC HARROLD, FMR. OFFICER, ATLANTA PD; ATTORNEY: Yes, there`s absolutely no evidence. I mean, anything`s possible. This is a baffling case. Anything`s possible. The fact that they might have inquired about how to travel to Mexico with the children, that cuts one way, but the fact that they left with such haste seems to cut the other. So, it`s a baffling case, but there`s no indication that would lead to believe that the father had done something to the family.

GRACE: What do you think, Marc Klaas?

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT & FOUNDE, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: I completely agree with that. You know, they didn`t take her passport which is expired, nor did they have the birth certificates of the children which would be necessary to come back into the country. And she`s exactly right about her concerns about the safety in Mexico. You know, Nancy, that there have been just about 35,000 killings in the U.S./Mexican border in the drug wars in the last four years alone. No sane individual wants to inject young children into that kind of an environment.

GRACE: I agree. Out to the lines. Stephanie in Maryland. Hi, Stephanie.

STEPHANIE, MARYLAND: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

STEPHANIE: I`m just curious. I had two questions. Was that the only vehicle that they had? And also, they mentioned they were doing renovations. Was it possible that the husband had, like, hired outside help? That would come in and get to know them?

GRACE: Good question. Michael McStay, was it their only vehicle?

MCSTAY: No. It was not their only vehicle. It was their mid-sized SUV. And to answer the other part of that question, yes, they did have other people in there. They had a painter that vanished, and actually Summer was overseeing the remodel because Joey worked from home.

GRACE: So, the painter vanished?

MCSTAY: That`s right. That`s why MacGyver, an old family friend who actually introduced them, came down and was the last person to see them on Wednesday the 3rd, and he was supposed to come back and paint on Saturday, the 6th. That`s why some of the last text messages she got was actually from MacGyver saying, hey, are we still on? Am I coming down? But the first original painter which brought MacGyver in there was because he, you know, no-showed and just --

GRACE: And tell me, quickly, where`s the other family vehicle?

MCSTAY: The other family vehicle is actually at my house. I have it now.

GRACE: OK. So, that`s accounted for.

MCSTAY: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: Very quickly --

MCSTAY: Another point is why didn`t they, you know, if they were going to go willfully, you know, most families that want to disappear, one, they liquidate their bank account. Two, they throw a bunch of gear and packing and et cetera into the back of the pickup truck. They throw the dogs in the back and off into the future they go, but that`s just not the case in this scenario.

GRACE: Not at all. Very quickly, everyone. We are going to California in the case of missing 4-year-old boy, Juliani Cardenas. Jean, fill us in on the latest.

CASAREZ: It was early this morning, Nancy, a water authority official was just doing his routine work at the Delta-Mendota Canal, and he saw the body of a young little boy floating on top. Authorities rushed to the scene. They were able to match the clothing of that little boy to Juliani Cardenas, and although, DNA testing is currently going on, autopsy was completed today. Authorities believe it is the body of Juliani Cardenas who was abducted from his grandmother January 18th.

GRACE: Jean, for those of our viewers that are not familiar with Juliani`s story, explain.

CASAREZ: Well, his grandmother had him that day on January 18th because he wasn`t feeling well and Jose Rodriguez, who was the ex-boyfriend and father figure for the little boy had gone all throughout the day to try to find him, and he finally found him that afternoon. Parked his car in the driveway, kept the doors open, took the baby out of the grandma`s arms. And then, it`s believed drove directly into a canal with himself and Juliani, but an arrest warrant has been issued. It`s an all-points bulletin to try to find Jose Rodriguez to arrest him for first-degree murder.


TABITHA CARDENAS, MOTHER OF JULIANI CARDENAS: Please, I need him home. I know Juliani, he`s telling him that he misses me and that he wants to come home and he needs to bring him home. She told me all she could do was hung on to him, and she finally let go.



GRACE: These are the faces of America`s missing. Every 30 seconds, another child, a sister, a brother, a father, a mother disappears. Families left behind wondering, waiting, hoping. We have not forgotten.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vinyette Teague was just a year and a half old when she vanished from her mom`s apartment in Chicago. She was never seen again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m hoping in my heart that somebody just saw a pretty baby and just wanted a baby. And that, you know, they`ve taken good care of her through these years. And that she`s a beautiful young woman now. And I`m hoping that one day, that she may see herself on TV and say, hey, that looks like me. Or maybe somebody else may see her and say, hey, this looks like you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Timeka Pridgen was last seen in Lagrange, North Carolina. At the time, she had braces on her teeth and light brown highlights in her hair. If you have any information, call 1-800-the lost.

Crystal Tymich was playing with her older siblings a few houses down the street in Los Angeles when she vanished. Her dad says he`ll always cherish his little girl.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not one day goes by that I don`t think about her. I see little girls playing or doing things just reminds me of my daughter, and I get really choked up. I finally have learned to control not crying all day and all night. You learn to live with that after a while. Oh, my God. Oh, she was the sweetest little girl. I`d say, who`s my baby girl? And she`d say, me. And I`d say, who`s your daddy? She`d say you. And then, we`d give slap high fives, you know? One time she said, you`re my baby daddy and I was like, aw, that`s so cute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meredith Medina was last seen in her home in Midwest City, Oklahoma on Valentine`s Day 1989. She has a scar on the left side of her forehead and may wear (ph) glasses.

Bethanie Dougherty`s personal belongings in car were left behind when she disappeared from her New York State home in April, 2008. Help find Bethanie.


GRACE: I`m Nancy Grace. See you tomorrow night 9 o`clock sharp eastern. And until then, we will be looking. Keep the faith, friend.