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Charged with the quadruple killing: Family killed with lægtehammer

It was a motorcyclist, which made the macabre knoglefund in the Mohave desert outside of Los Angeles in november 2013.

Bones came from Joseph and Summer McStay and the children, four-year-old Gianni and three-year-old Joey. The family had been missing for three years.

Along with the bones police found a diaper, a few børnebukser as well as a two kilograms heavy lægtehammer – the supposed gerningsvåben.

the Police arrested subsequent to Charles Merritt, who was Joseph McStays partner in a company that sold custom-designed water feature.

Merritt, 61, is today charged with the quadruple killing at the court in San Bernardino, California. He refuses guilty in a case where he risks death penalty, writes The newspaper The Press-Enterprise.

Charles Merritt, 61, speaks with his defense attorney Rajan during the summer in the courtroom in San Bernardino, California, where he is accused of killing four people. Photo: AP

Anklagermyndigheden believe that the motive was financial. Charles Merritt was a compulsive gambler with kæmpegæld and out after the company's money, says the claim.

- It was greed that made him do it, said prosecutor Sean Daugherty and points to the Merritt emptied the company's bank accounts a few days after the McStay disappeared.

For the families of Joseph and Summer McStay has the trial been a long time coming. It has been nearly nine years since the family disappeared without a trace from their home north of San Diego.

Joseph and Summer McStay, and their children, Gianni and Joey disappeared in 2010. Now is a 61-year-old man charged with the killings. Photo: AP

When the McStay family was reported missing, ushered in the police a greater search. Four days later appeared the family car up at a car park near the Mexico border.

In the first place worked the police with a theory that the family had left the U.S. of their own free will. The theory was, however, dotted with ligfundet in the desert.

Charles Merritt, who from the beginning had been in police spotlight, was at his arrest in the process of publishing a book about the quadruple homicide.

In the book 'Afraid of the Light' he claims, to Joseph McStay prior to the mysterious disappearance had feared that his wife would poison him.

Charles Merritt was arrested in november 2014 - one year after the discovery of ligrester in the desert. Photo: AP

Patrick McStay, Joseph's father, says to CBS News that he, in connection with the book had many private conversations with Merritt.

- He asked me to read the book before it was published, says Patrick McStay, who cooperated with the author, because he hoped that the book could speed up the investigation.

Charles Merritt has previously been on the edge of the law. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was sentenced to prison for burglary and sale of stolen goods. In 2001 he was again convicted of car theft and burglary.

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