Mystery of Brit family found dead on hiking trail finally SOLVED after two-month probe

THE British family mysteriously found dead on a remote hiking trial in California were killed by hyperthermia and dehydration, cops confirm.

Software engineer Jonathan Gerrish, 45, his wife Ellen Chung, 31, and their one-year-old daughter Muji, were discovered by crews in an area of the Sierra National Forest known as Devil’s Gulch on August 17.


Jonathan Gerrish, his wife Ellen Chung, and their one-year-old daughter Muji were found dead on a remote hiking trail in California last month[/caption]


But today cops said they died from a likely combination of hyperthermia and dehydration[/caption]

Authorities said that – alongside their pet dog – the group were found 1.6 miles from their vehicle in temperatures that could have risen to above 100 degrees,

They added that there was also only one empty water with them, – indicating that the temperature likely contributed to their death.

According to Health line, dehydration can cause dizziness brought on by extreme heat fatigue.

Meanwhile, hyperthermia is abnormally high body temperature caused by the failure of heat-regulating mechanisms. 

Both can be fatal.


Thursday’s announcement brings to an end an almost two month long investigation into the case that had previously been shrouded in mystery.

Cops had previously ruled out homicide despite being unable to give an explanation or a possible cause of death.

One initial theory posed, indicated that group could have been poisoned by toxic material in the water. 

Authorities confirmed the presence of toxic algae in the Merced River a few miles from where the bodies were found.

According to Elizabeth Meyer-Shields of the Bureau of Land Management, the poisonous blooms were capable of producing toxins that can make people and pets extremely sick.

At the time, local reports claimed investigators were looking at whether the family may have drunk water from the river – but no evidence was found.

Days later Police then confirmed they were investigating possible lightning strikes in the Sierra National Forest area after the bodied showed no signs of trauma.

It was prompted after the death of Fresno hiker Nicholas Torchia, 37, who was killed just weeks before by lightning after thunderstorms hit the forest.

But, following the conclusion by cops this week, the family thanked the sheriff’s office for having ‘”truly gone the extra mile’ in trying to find answers. 

In a statement issued on the Thursday they said: “The loss of the family is pain beyond words and when that pain is compacted by lack of knowledge about their death, the questions of where, why, when and how fill the void, day and night.’ 

“Some questions have been answered, and we will use this to help us come to terms with this.

“They will remain with us wherever we go, or whatever we do”.


The group were discovered the Sierra National Forest known as Devil’s Gulch on August 17[/caption]


On Thursday, Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese outlined what he believed lead to their death[/caption]


The family have since thanked the sheriff’s office for having ‘truly gone the extra mile’ in trying to find answers[/caption] Link

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