Former High Desert resident arrested

By Yara Del Rio-Dominguez |Staff Writer|

Man held in killing of McStay familyFormer high desert resident Charles Ray Merritt, 47, was arrested on suspicion of killing family of four.

“Investigators received over 250 anonymous tips via e-mail, WeTip, and phone calls,” according to San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon “More than 4,500 pages of investigative documents were compiled, 60 search warrants and more than 200 interviews were conducted before Merritt was arrested.

According to, Merritt had told The Daily Press, his former business partner Joesph McStay had disappeared, leaving undisclosed information about an ongoing project they were working on together for a restaurant at the Green Tree Golf Course in Victorville.

“I don’t think investigators should have waited too long to investigate the missing man and his family, they had plenty of people calling the tip line,” said student Pablo Edelman.

Merritt is suspected to have killed Joesph Mcstay, 40, his wife Summer, 43, and their two young boys at the age of four and three years old.

Suspicions rose when the McStay family was unheard from for almost a month before investigators reached their home and found their family dogs unattended and food spoiled on their kitchen counter. (Feb 4, 2010)

Law enforcement later found the McStay’s family car near the Mexican border days after.

On Nov. 11, 2013, “Victorville Sheriff’s Station deputies were dispatched to a remote desert area, after a man who was riding his motorcycle off-road spotted what he thought might be human bones,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller.

Merritt is currently being held at West Valley Detention Center without bail where is facing four counts of murder.



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