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Could Skeletal Remains Found Near Victorville Be A Missing Family?

VICTORVILLE ( — Investigators are reportedly probing the possibility that human skeletal remains found earlier this week belong to a Fallbrook family who went missing nearly four years ago.

The puzzling case of the McStay family has made national headlines and was tabloid TV fodder since the day the Fallbrook family went missing from their upscale home in February 2010.

A San Bernardino County sheriff's detective reportedly met with a relative of the family on Thursday afternoon.

The Sheriff's Department would not reveal what was disclosed in the meeting or even confirm its existence.

KCAL9's Stacey Butler went to the Laguna Niguel home of Mike McStay, the missing man's brother, but she said the person who answered the door this evening said he was not home.

She later asked him by phone if sheriff's had contacted him and he refused to answer the question directly.

Officials with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department did say they would call a news conference for Friday at 11 a.m. to discuss the findings of the remains. CBS2 plans to carry that news conference live.

If it is the McStay family -- a husband and wife and two small children -- it would obviously change a missing persons case to that of a homicide investigation.

But it would not, obviously, reveal much more. Many questions would still remain.

Who killed the family and why? How long were their bodies there? Was one person responsible for their murder?

A few weeks after moving into their home, Joseph McStay, wife Summer and two young sons -- Joseph Mateo and Gianni -- just disappeared.

The two family dogs were left behind.  People who knew the family said they were a loving, normal family. At the time, officials said the family even left popcorn -- just popped -- in two bowls in the living room. There were also rotten eggs found on the kitchen counter.

By all accounts, it looked as if the family made a hasty, unplanned retreat. But why? To where? There were no signs of a struggle or forced entry, no blood found. The couple didn't have financial problems (they reportedly had more than $100,000 in the bank).

The mystery only deepened when investigators believed they uncovered video of what looked like the McStays crossing the border into Mexico, but officials never did confirm the identity on the surveillance tape. A family member said it didn't look like the McStays to them.

The family never told anyone they were planning a trip and computer searches also turned up nothing, according to authorities.

Four days after the family was reported missing, their SUV was found parked at a shopping mall in San Diego, steps from the Mexican border.

Butler reported that the FBI officially took over the case this past May. On Thursday evening, Butler asked the lead detective in the case if the skeletal remains found near Victorville were the McStays and she said to refer all of her questions to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The case was featured on "America's Most Wanted" and other crime shows where investigators would insist all indications were the family "fled" voluntarily.

Family members never believed that and set up The Joseph McStay Family Website to raise awareness and "bring the family home."


VIDEO: The Mystery Of The Missing McStays

Year Later, OC Family's Disappearance Is A Mystery

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