While the mystery of what happened to the McStay family has not been solved, friends and family can finally say their goodbyes this weekend.
A memorial paddle-out is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday from the San Clemente Pier.
The family, which had moved to Fallbrook but had deep roots in San Clemente, was last seen Feb. 4, 2010, and their 1996 Isuzu Trooper was found abandoned in San Ysidro near the international border four days later.
At one point, San Diego County Sheriff’s officials thought they had a missing persons case on their hands and turned the case over to the FBI.
But then skeletal remains were found in shallow graves in the Mohave desert near Victorville. Joseph and Summer McStay and their two sons, Gianni and Joseph Jr., weren’t missing. They were dead.
Detectives have concluded that the family members were victims of homicide, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters last month. McMahon declined to disclose how the McStays might have been killed and said no suspects had been identified.
Regardless of the culprit, the family just wants to remember the McStays.
“We have finally been able to bring the McStay Family home from the coroner’s office and are preparing to have the public memorial service and beach paddle out at the San Clemente Pier,” according to the family’s website, run by Mike McStay, Joseph’s brother.
“My family is overwhelmed by the love and support that friends and strangers have shown us from around the world,” Mike McStay wrote.
A memorial service is planned for noon Saturday at Vineyard Community Church, 27632 El Lazo, Laguna Niguel. Seating is limited.
A paddle-out follows at 2 p.m. from the San Clemente Pier.
“There will be a beach ceremony to release four leis symbolizing each of the McStay family members, Joseph, Summer, Gianni and Joey Jr.,” Mike McStay wrote.
You can register your attendance at an evite set up for the occasion.