A New York Times bestselling author will write about the disappearance and murders of Joseph and Summer McStay and their two young boys in 2010.
SAN DIEGO — A prolific local true-crime author is working on a new page-turner.
Nearly a decade after the bodies of a North County family were discovered in shallow graves in Victorville, the McStay family murders have raised many questions, many of which remain unanswered.
Author Caitlin Rother puts another mystery to print about the 2010 McStay family murders.
It’s been 12 years and three days since the Mcstay family disappeared from their Fallbrook home without a trace.
“The mystery is, what happened to this family?” Rother said.
Three and a half years after their disappearance, Joseph and Summer McStay were found in shallow graves in the Mojave Desert with their two sons Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, buried next to them. The medical examiner ruled that they had been beaten to death with a hammer.
“They were just bones. Three and a half years later, there’s a mystery in there, and I’m going to dig into that too,” Rother said.
The New York Times bestselling author is writing his 15th book with a working title, “Down to the Bone: The Mysterious McStay family murders.”
Last year, the San Diego-based true-crime author released “Death on Ocean Boulevard: Inside the Coronado Mansion Case,” a book about the controversial death of Rebecca Zahau.
She lives in San Diego and has followed the McStay case in court and in the media.
“I’m breaking one of my rules writing this book, I don’t like writing about murdered children,” Rother said.
She says she won’t go into details about the children’s murder. It’s up to the prosecutor to convince the jury to convict Joseph’s McStay business partner Charles “Chase” Merritt.
Merritt’s trial lasted six months. In 2019 he was found guilty and later sent to death row after the prosecution argued Merritt was motivated by money after Joseph accused him of stealing $40,000 from his business water fountains.
“I’m telling you, you’re going to see a lot of stuff in this book that just wasn’t covered,” Rother said.
She wouldn’t divulge what’s new that we don’t already know.
Surveillance videos and cellphone recordings have linked Merritt to the case, but there remains a mystery that Rother hopes to answer.
“My biggest question, who could kill a 3 and 4 year old boy?” Rother asked.
Rother hopes to release the McStay book by the end of next year or 2024. In the meantime, a TV series is in the works based on his Zahau book, Death on Ocean Boulevard.
RELATED WATCH: Charles Merritt Sentenced to Death for McStay Murders (January 2020).