McStay Family Update : Suspect in court in slaying of California family

McStay Family Update : Suspect in court in slaying of California family

A man accused of killing a Fallbrook couple and their two young children and burying their bodies in shallow graves in the Mojave Desert made his initial appearance Friday afternoon in a San Bernardino County courtroom, according to City News Service.

Arraignment was rescheduled to Wednesday for Charles “Chase” Merritt, 57, who is charged in the deaths of Joseph McStay, 40, his wife, Summer, 43, and their sons, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3.

Merritt, a Riverside County resident who had been Joseph McStay’s business partner in a decorative-fountain business, was arrested two days ago in Victorville.

Investigators believe he acted alone in killing the victims, who died of blunt-force trauma in their home, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters.

“Although we can never bring them back, I hope that on some level this brings (the victims’ survivors) closure,” the sheriff said.