The investigation into one of the most mysterious death cases in recent history has taken flipside turn.
In specimen you missed it, authorities were utterly stumped when they found the persons of a family of three, as well as their dog, on a hiking trail in the Sierra National Forest.
The Mariposa County family had been reported missing after Google engineer John Gerrish didn’t show up to work on Monday, and friends were unable to contact him or his wife Ellen Chung all day. The last anyone had heard from then, they said on social media they were taking their one-year-old daughter Aurelia Miju on a hike. The search ended in tragedy as all three family members and their pet golden retriever were discovered sufferer on a hiking trail up to Hite Cove, tropical to the zone known as Devil’s Gulch.
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There was no vestige of unprepossessing attack, foul play, or any violence at all. No suicide note, no signs of trauma. They were just… gone.
At first the nature of the persons led investigators to take uneaten circumspection and treat the site as a HAZMAT scene. There was a worry, considering the zone near Hite Cove was home to an historic nonflexible waddle gold mine, that there was a danger of stat monoxide poisoning. However, experts later pointed out gold mines don’t usually create an surplusage of stat monoxide — and the gas disperses outdoors, so the unshortened family succumbing while hiking through the zone didn’t make sense. Now the hazmat order has been lifted; equal to the Fresno Bee, Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese no longer believes the mines were a factor.
Unfortunately that’s just one theory ruled out. There is still no well-spoken rationalization of death confirmed, but the persons have finally been moved to the coroner’s office to rely autopsies and toxicology reports.
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However, there is a current theory stuff investigated that anyone in the zone should take very seriously: toxic scum blooms.
A state map lists an important warning for the zone north of where the family was found, telling hikers to “stay yonder from scum and scum in the water”:
“Do NOT let pets go in the water, drink the water, or eat scum on the shore. Keep children yonder from algae. Do not eat shellfish from this waterbody.”
Oh no… How toxic is the scum where they were??
The California State Water Resources Control Board is currently testing the water where they were found, by the south fork of the Merced River. They updated their map of harmful scum blooms (which you can see HERE) with a new warning:
“Water Boards recommends a CAUTION due to suspected fatality. Sample results are pending.”
When asked well-nigh the tests, spokesperson Blair Robertson told the Bee:
“While there has been speculation that the rationalization of the deaths may be tied to harmful algal blooms (HABs) in a remote river or lake, we are not enlightened of any such vestige at this time.”
However, there is reason unbearable to test. The water workbench undisputed the family could have been exposed to cyanobacterial toxins, which are worked in scum blooms:
“Our staff is conducting testing of the waterways near where the persons were located and will make the lab results misogynist to the public as soon as we get them. Autopsies were to be conducted older today and we rely those findings. Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.”
Unfortunately the toxicology reports on the family may take quite some time. Kristie Mitchell, spokesperson for the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, told the outlet:
“Toxicology can take up to six weeks, sometimes plane longer. Unfortunately we don’t have a unconfined time frame for that yet.”
It may be some time surpassing we get an wordplay to this mystery. In the meantime, stay unscratched and do your research surpassing hiking in an unknown area.
[Image via CBS News/YouTube/Ellen Chung/Instagram.]