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"Cold and Callous" Murders of McStay Family Solved, Authorities Say

By Michael Pearson | CNN

Almost a year to the day after an off-road motorcyclistfound the remains of a California family who had vanished from their home in 2010, authorities announced Friday they had arrested the man they believe is responsible for the deaths.

Charles "Chase" Merritt is charged with four counts of murder in the deaths of Joseph and Summer McStay and their two small boys, San Bernardino County, California, District Attorney Michael Ramos told reporters at a news conference.

Merritt, 57, was arrested Wednesday without incident in Chatsworth, California, Detective Chris Fisher said.

Police say they believe the family died of "blunt force trauma" inside their home north of San Diego, but they declined to discuss specifics of the deaths or a motive.

Merritt, who was a business partner of Joseph McStay's, appeared in court Friday but his arraignment was postponed until Wednesday. No bail was set.

In an earlier interview with CNN, Merritt said he received a phone call from Joseph McStay the night they disappeared, but didn't answer it because he was busy and tired.

"There are hundreds of scenarios," he told CNN at the time. "I have gone over all of them in my head. Of course I regret not picking up the phone."

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Background Photo Credit: Kasia Broussalian © 2015