By Selena Hill ( | First Posted: Nov 15, 2013 05:35 PM EST

Human remains from a Southern California family of four who mysteriously vanished in February 2010 were found this week in the Mojave Desert.

San Bernardino County Sheriff McMahon confirmed Friday that the bodies of Joseph McStay, 40, and his wife, Summer, 43, were found in shallow graves near Victorville, Calif., which is in the high desert about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles. No homes or businesses are near the gravesite. The couple's two young sons, however, have still not been found, reports KWTX.

The father of the missing man, Patrick McStay, told CBS affiliate KFMB Thursday that his family was contacted by law enforcement and told that the bodies have been identified as his son Joseph and his daughter-in-law Summer.

The McStay family vanished in February 2010, abandoning their dogs and leaving food on the counter. There were also no signs of forced entry at the family's home in Fallbrook after they disappeared. In 2012, the San Diego Sheriff's Department ruled that the family voluntarily went to Mexico, reports KFMB. 

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Wednesday, "It appears the remains have been there for an extended period of time. Age and gender are unknown pending examination by a forensic anthropologist," reports CBS News.

He said the manner of death appears to be homicide, however a motive in the case has yet to be determined.

Altogether, four bodies were discovered in the barren scrubland. McMahon says authorities believe the other remains belong to the McStay children, but that ruling has not been confirmed.

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