Authorities announced Tuesday that the FBI has taken over the case of a California family missing for more than three years.
Joseph McStay, his wife Summer and their two children, Gianni and Joseph Jr., have not been heard from since February 4, 2010. They left their two dogs unattended in their Fallbrook home with eggs on the kitchen counter and popcorn in the living room, CNN reported.
Four days later, the family’s vehicle was found abandoned in San Ysidro, near the Mexican border. Investigators said surveillance video recorded that night appears to show the family crossing the border into Mexico, but they cannot confirm the identities of the people in the video.
“The consensus is the family, in all likelihood, traveled into Mexico of their own free will,” a San Diego Sheriff’s Department press release said Tuesday. “There has been no contact or communication from them since February of 2010.”
According to the sheriff’s department, the case is being transferred to the FBI as the primary investigating agency because the family is believed to be out of the country and two children are involved. The FBI has been assisting with the case from the beginning as the sheriff’s department investigated hundreds of tips.
Relatives have said the disappearance was extremely out of character. Joseph’s brother Michael McStay told HLN’s Nancy Grace in 2011 that he did not believe Joseph would have just taken his wife and children out of the country without ever notifying anyone in the family about it.
“He`s not that type of person,” McStay said.
Investigators have found no evidence of foul play in the case.
McStay’s relatives posted a statement online Tuesday thanking the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for their work and expressing hope that the FBI will be able to find some answers.
“I know that my mom and I are happy with SDSD and are optimistic with the resources that the FBI brings to the table,” Michael McStay said in the statement. “We simply want to know what happened to our missing loved ones. We are grateful that there has been so much love and support the past 3 years.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.