TODAY   |  November 15, 2013

New clues in case of missing California family

A 3-year-old case of a missing California family is opening up again after a number of clues, including human remains, were discovered. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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>> have new developments this morning into the mysterious disappearance of a family in california nearly four years ago. mara has the latest on this case. good morning.

>> reporter: savannah, good morning. the family disappeared in 2010 and relatives have fought for answers ever since. investigators thought they may have left the country voluntarily. now we may be one step closer to finding out what happened to joseph mcstay , his wife summer and their two young sons following a startling discovery in the california desert.

>> families of four just don't disappear.

>> reporter: for the past three years mike mcstay has not given up hope his brother will be found along with his wife and their two young sons.

>> what does it take for a family of four to survive right now where ever they're at?

>> reporter: this morning, investigators may have a major break in the case after a backcountry motorcyclist discovered human remains in the desert outside of los angeles . authorities have been analyzing evidence and conducting dna testing . they have scheduled a press conference for later today to announce their findings. it was february 2010 when the mcstay family went missing. there were no signs of struggle. food was left on the kitchen counter . they had no known financial problems. it was not until neighbors complained about the family's barking dogs that investigators discovered they were gone. adding to the mystery, the family car was later found some 70 miles away . and in 2012 , the san diego sheriff's department ruled the family voluntarily walked into mexico based on this grainy surveillance video. now there's reason to believe that the family never crossed the border and that they met a far more tragic fate. and while that may answer the question of what happened to the family, we may never know why. the mcstay 's relatives always maintained they would never have left the country without telling anyone and since their disappearance investigators say the family hasn't used their credit cards , cell phones, or any of the money in their checking account. officials will be hold a news conference on this case later this morning.

>>> strange and sad story. thank