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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 dad and mom, John Gerrish and Ellen Chunt, went mountaineering 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 buddy reported the household lacking later that night time. 

Their automobile was situated close to the Savage Lundy Path about two hours after midnight on Aug. 17, and their our bodies had 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 stories 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, once we come throughout a household with no obvious reason behind dying, there isn’t any smoking gun, there isn’t any suicide observe, there’s nothing like that, we now have to contemplate all choices,” Mitchell beforehand informed Fox Information on Saturday. “Now that we’re 5 days in, no, we’re not contemplating murder as a reason behind dying.”


Investigators are trying 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 include toxins which might be 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. In line with the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Workplace, the realm is reported to be the place a household and their canine had been discovered lifeless on Tuesday. (Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee through AP)

The realm in central California is dwelling to deserted gold mines from the mid-19th century, that are recognized to supply poisonous gases, however Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese informed the Fresno Bee final week that he would not assume the mines performed a job. 


The sheriff’s workplace additionally famous Thursday that temperatures had been extraordinarily excessive in the course of 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 workforce 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 will discover to assist us convey these solutions to them as rapidly as we will.”


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