McStay Family Was Sledgehammered To Death By Killer

It’s been nearly two years since the McStay family was found in graves in the desert near Victorville, California. Now more information has been released about their causes of death. ABC News 10 reports that the family was presumably killed with a three-pound sledgehammer — or at least that’s what the attorney defending Charles Merritt believes. The accused killer is expected to appear in court for his preliminary hearing next week regarding the murder of the married couple and their two sons.

Attorney Jimmy Mettias believes that prosecutors will go with the allegation that his client murdered the McStay family in their home back in February of 2010. However, he also says that there is absolutely no evidence tying Charles Merritt to the home of Joseph and Summer McStay.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that greed was the motive in the slaying of Joseph and Summer McStay along with their two young sons Gianni and Joseph, Jr. (ages three and four). Prosecutors believe that he was driven by money to murder the entire family of four with a sledgehammer in their home before transporting their bodies to the Mojave Desert, where they were placed in shallow graves. Merritt’s attorney doesn’t think the prosecution has a case against his client.

“It’s an incredibly far-fetched story. It’s conjecture.”

When the McStay family vanished in 2010, foul play was never an apparent suspicion. In fact, authorities long believed that their disappearance was completely voluntary. This belief was only cemented by footage showing a family of four crossing the border into Mexico that resembled the McStay clan. If the prosecution is correct and Charles Merritt murdered them, then that notorious footage must be of an entirely different family. Many questions remain, however, about the investigation into the disappearance. If officials believe they were sledgehammered to death in their home, then how come no such evidence was ever found — or publicized — in the time that their case was considered a voluntary disappearance? Is there truly any forensic evidence at all tying Charles Merritt to these four gruesome murders?

Even the timeline in this case seems to point to the idea that Joseph and Summer McStay took their children out of the country. However, this definitely does not explain their deaths — and their skeletal remains must have indicated that their deaths were horribly violent. Regardless of how the facts pan out in this upcoming trial, it’s hopeful that the McStay family gets the justice the four murdered victims deserve.

[Photo: McStay family photo via LA Times]

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