(AbsoluteNews.com) – On August 16, a friend of John Gerrish and Ellen Chung reported them missing in Mariposa County, California. The friend became concerned after the couple and their daughter, 1-year-old Muji, and their dog had not returned from a hiking trip. Unfortunately, the family met a tragic end.
Search teams found the family’s car near the gate to the Sierra National Forest. The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office said the searchers soon discovered the bodies of the family and their dog along a “trail near an area known as Devil’s Gulch.” Authorities could not find a clear cause of death when they came upon the bodies, so they treated the area as though it were a hazmat scene. The area they were found in had no cellphone service.
A NorCal family of 3 that had been reported missing was found dead along with their dog on a hiking trail in a remote area of the Sierra National Forest with no cellphone service, officials say. https://t.co/8IgPg5aSbe
— KTLA (@KTLA) August 18, 2021
Sheriff’s Spokeswoman Kristie Mitchell explained they were concerned about carbon monoxide, so the officers declared the site a hazmat scene to be safe. The area where the family died sits on top of several former gold mines. According to experts, the air in mines is full of chemicals including carbon monoxide, methane and other gasses. Also, Mitchell couldn’t say whether the deceased came in contact with some other toxic substance. She called it a “very bizarre situation.”
A medical examiner will perform an autopsy, including toxicology tests. Hopefully, the results will provide their grieving loved ones with some answers.
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