SAN DIEGO - Hundreds gathered at a church memorial and beach paddle out on Saturday to remember a Fallbrook family.
The remains of Joseph and Summer McStay and their two sons were found in November buried in the Mojave Desert. They vanished from their Fallbrook home in February of 2010.
The service took place at the Vineyard Community Church in Laguna Niguel, followed by a paddle out, which took place at the San Clemente Pier.
Hundreds of family, friends and strangers were there to mourn a family many never met. For the McStay family, it was an appropriate setting.
"They were both beach fanatics and he surfed quite a bit," said a friend.
Susan Blake, Joseph McStay's mother, said, "It's a sad day but they're in heaven and I wanted to show the whole world appreciation for all the love and support."
Regarding the memorial service, she added, "There's so much love in there today … It's hard … very, very hard."
Family friend Guy Joseph said, "When you were around him, you just kind of wanted to be a better person."
Friends shared memories about a family and shared a final goodbye.
"This is what we do for our fallen comrades," said Joseph. "We paddle out and show the love."
Authorities have named no suspects in the family's death. For a mother without answers, while this is love, it is not closure.
"The worst pain any parent – period – could feel and now, it's like a boulder on your chest," said Blake. "I need those unanswered questions. I need justice."
Though the family is desperate for answers, on Saturday, they said they are thankful to the community. They say they have received more than $4,400 in donations.