Cause of mysterious deaths of California family to be revealed two months after bodies were found along trail

Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office to hold a press conference over mystery deaths of Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter Aurelia Miju Chung-Gerrish and dog Oski

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 21 October 2021 19:54
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The mystery surrounding the deaths of a California family will finally be put to rest on Thursday, two months after their bodies were found along a remote hiking trail in the Sierra National Forest.

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office announced it will hold a press conference at 2pm local time (5pm ET) on Thursday afternoon “regarding the cause of death” of Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter Aurelia Miju Chung-Gerrish and their pet dog Oski.

The family vanished while hiking along a trail close to the Merced River back in August and were reported missing by a friend.

Their bodies were discovered on 17 August along the Savage-Lundy Trail in Devil’s Gulch near Hites Cove.

Since then, the case has baffled authorities and their cause of death remained a mystery.

Multiple causes of death have been ruled out during the investigation including: suicide, being caused by a gun or other weapon, alcohol, illegal drugs, a lightning strike, extreme heat and exposure to cyanide, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.

One theory that remains is that they were killed by toxic algae found in the nearby water.

Investigators have been working with toxicology experts to determine whether the high levels of toxicity could have poisoned the family.

The Sheriff’s Office said Thursday’s briefing will be the “final investigative update” in the case.

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