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California authorities flip to cellphone knowledge and social media in mysterious deaths of household

The Mariposa County Sheriff has dominated out gunshots and chemical hazards of their investigation of the mysterious deaths of a California household final week. 

The mother and father, John Gerrish and Ellen Chunt, went climbing early on the morning of Aug. 15 with their 1-year-old daughter, Miju, and their canine, Oski, within the Sierra Nationwide Forest. 

The following day, a Monday, Gerrish did not present as much as his job as a software program engineer, so a pal reported the household lacking later that evening. 

Their automobile was situated close to the Savage Lundy Path about two hours after midnight on Aug. 17, and their our bodies have been discovered hours later round 9 a.m. about 1.5 miles down the path. 

Autopsies carried out on Thursday didn’t flip up many clues, however authorities are nonetheless awaiting toxicology experiences on the household and their canine. 

Investigators are actually hoping {that a} cellphone discovered on the household might flip up proof of what killed them. Police delivered that cellphone to the FBI for knowledge extraction on Tuesday, which they’re nonetheless ready on outcomes for. A search warrant was additionally issued on Wednesday for doable social media entry. 

The household was discovered with no apparent indicators of trauma, main investigators to rule out gunshots and chemical hazards of their deaths. Kristie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for the Mariposa County Sheriff, stated they’ve additionally dominated out murder. 

“Initially, sure, after we come throughout a household with no obvious reason for dying, there isn’t any smoking gun, there isn’t any suicide notice, there’s nothing like that, we have now to contemplate all choices,” Mitchell beforehand advised Fox Information on Saturday. “Now that we’re 5 days in, no, we’re not contemplating murder as a reason for dying.”


Investigators are wanting into a variety of different doable causes, together with poisonous algae and deserted gold mines that may produce poisonous gases. 

The California Division of Fish and Wildlife warned final month that the water alongside the Merced River close to Hites Cove had “a excessive focus of algae bloom,” which may comprise toxins which are toxic to people and pets. 

A helicopter hovers over a remote area northeast of the town of Mariposa, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. According to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, the area is reported to be where a family and their dog were found dead on Tuesday. (Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee via AP)

A helicopter hovers over a distant space northeast of the city of Mariposa, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Based on the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Workplace, the world is reported to be the place a household and their canine have been discovered lifeless on Tuesday. (Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee by way of AP)

The world in central California is house to deserted gold mines from the mid-19th century, that are identified to supply poisonous gases, however Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese advised the Fresno Bee final week that he does not assume the mines performed a task. 


The sheriff’s workplace additionally famous Thursday that temperatures have been extraordinarily excessive throughout the day on Aug. 15, starting from 103 to 109 levels. 

“We all know the household and pals of John and Ellen are determined for solutions, our crew of detectives are working around the clock,” Sheriff Briese stated in a press release Thursday. “Instances like this require us to be methodical and thorough whereas additionally reaching out to each useful resource we are able to discover to assist us deliver these solutions to them as rapidly as we are able to.”


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