[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/02/22/california.missing.family/story.mcstay.split.courtesy.jpg caption="Investigators learned that Joseph and Summer McStay, and their two children, may have been seen at a restaurant in Mexico. The McStays have been missing since February 4." width=300 height=169]
The brother of a Southern California man who disappeared along with his entire family reported a possible new lead in the three-month-old mystery.
Michael McStay said he learned through an investigator that a waiter believed he served Joseph McStay, his wife, Summer McStay, and their children, Gianni, 4, and Jospeh, 3, at a restaurant in Guerrero Negro, Mexico in late February or early March.
Guerrero Negro is a city in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.
According to Michael McStay, he recalled that the family left behind a map. McStay said he did not know any further details about the map. He said it was handed over to the FBI, who did not return calls for a comment.
McStay also said the waiter commented at the time on what he thought was a bump on the little boy’s head. It was actually a birthmark, Mcstay said.
McStay told CNN that the waiter remembered that Joseph McStay “looked ill, he looked sick.”
“My understanding was in the last year he’d been having these vertigo type symptoms,” McStay said. “He was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and on the (February) 4, he was talking to my mother and he had to pull over when he was driving home because he felt vertigo type symptoms.”
The Mcstays have not been seen or heard from since February 4.
Information gathered on the McStay's home computer reveal the couple was making travel inquires about Mexico on the internet a week before they were reported missing, authorities said.
“It had to do with travel in Mexico with children and whether you needed to have passports for children,” Lt. Dennis Brugos, of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said. “It looks as if there were some planning.”
Their two dogs were found unattended without food or water in the Mcstay’s San Diego house, investigators said.
An SUV belonging to the McStays was found abandoned on February 8 just two blocks from the San Ysidro border checkpoint, authorities said.
Surveillance video taken that evening appears to show the family “casually” walking into Mexico, the sheriff’s department said.
Michael McStay does not understand why his brother would, it appears, voluntarily abandon their life in the U.S.
“It’s like they are afraid of something,” he said. “That’s what to me it appears to me.”
“What I can’t gather is what’s compelling him to go down there…I can’t figure it out.”
Joseph McStay is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Summer McStay, also known as Lisa Aranda-Martelli, is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 115 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the McStay family is urged to contact the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at 858-565-5200. Anonymous calls can be made to 888-580-8477.
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