McStay arrestOn Wednesday, November 5, 2014, investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detail arrested Charles “Chase” Merritt for the murders of Joseph, Summer, Gianni and Joseph M. McStay. 

Over the past 12 months, investigators have conducted an extensive investigation which included the service of 60 search warrants and over 200 interviews. Investigators received about 250 tips and followed up on every one; including e-mails, Crime Stoppers, We-Tip, America’s Most Wanted, National Center for Missing/Exploited Children and anonymous telephone calls. 

Homicide investigators worked with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and Special Agent Kevin Boles with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. 

Chase Merritt, 57, of Homeland, was arrested without incident and transported to the West Valley Detention Center. He was booked for murder and is being held without bail. The District Attorney’s Office filed four counts of murder against Merritt. 

Chase Merritt was a business associate of Joseph McStay. 

The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma. Based on the entire investigation and the evidence obtained, investigators believe the murders occurred at the family home in Fallbrook. Investigators are not disclosing the motive for the murders.

Watch the press conference here: