CA - Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, daughter, 1 & dog, suspicious death hiking area, Aug 2021 #5

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by dalsglen, Aug 18, 2021.

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  1. Parsnip

    Parsnip Well-Known Member

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    I keep coming back to this post of your @WillieMac and am joining you in lurker mode. I can come up with no scenario starting with the premise that the family would absolutely not intend to take the hike that doesn’t lead me to discount or suspend the facts we do have and superimpose an alternative scenario for which there is currently no support. Reductio ad absurdum.
    Eta: Moo
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021


  2. Han

    Han Well-Known Member

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    There was no timing to make this hike safe. At daybreak (6:15 am) the relative humidity is high making the temperatures seem hotter. Leaving later pushed them up against the afternoon highs by the time they reached SLT. Three miles long, a narrow rocky trail where you need to watch your step, hot and dry with no shade if needed, hiking up when the temperatures had exceeded 100° was probably the tipping point toward HS. As they climbed the air temperature was getting lower due to elevation change however apparently their bodies had already overheated and couldn’t cool down. As we’ve said before you really have to stop activity and get into the shade. If you’ve reached an internal temperature of 104° to 105° even rest won’t help. At that point you need extreme cooling measures.
    A little more information from the CDC.
    Things were just as hot during July, the hottest month of their summer. Temperatures had been no better in August although the temperatures cooled somewhat the 18th through the 23rd before increasing again. There were several weeks of hot weather to warn them this hike was unadvisable. The SLT was avoided during this heat so there was no help, there was no cell service and HS ensued. I’m afraid that is the tragic reality.

    MOO
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
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  3. armchairagatha

    armchairagatha Well-Known Member

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    I believe they would since both parents were avid hikers. In most other cases of adventurers, only one of the couple (usually the man, sometimes the woman) is into extreme sports and does it alone or with buddies. In this case both the man and the woman were equally avid hikers/adventurers and they probably wanted to acclimatize their child early on and instill that love for hiking in her. Add to that the fact that they probably didn’t think this hike was even truly dangerous to begin with and I can totally see them taking the baby and dog on it. MOO
     
  4. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! If trucks fit down HC or could drive down the SL switchbacks, I assume LE would have used them to remove the bodies rather than a helicopter. MOO.
     
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  5. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    And, in fact they did, they were all found on the SL trail.
     
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  6. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    I saw a few in The Daily Mail, including in the winter. MOO.
     
  7. Pumphouse363

    Pumphouse363 Well-Known Member

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    It is a fact they were found on the SL trail but we do not yet have the facts of the trail they took. Imo
     
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  8. IceIce9

    IceIce9 Verified EMT

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    I mentioned on another post that on my most recent desert hike my companion and I passed two couples with babies in backpack carriers. This was on a very hot day One of the babies already appeared to be very sunburned.

    My point is that it’s not uncommon for parents to take babies on strenuous hikes, even in very hot weather.
     
  9. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    Heartily agree, MOO. They intended to hike, they were dressed for hiking, they were found on a hiking trail, with hiking gear. They intended to go on a nice outing together, and as sometimes things tragically do, it went sideways. With suicide off the table in the latest update from LE, it leaves intending to hike, maybe see some mines, spend the day together. MOO.
     
  10. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    My personal hope is that pediatricians, vets and outdoor gear stores become sources of public education re: the dangers of heat, particularly for the young, the elderly and canines. I hope that the policy of announcing trail closures in extreme heat continues and spreads, not 100% effective but will help move the needle on educating that there is some weather (heat, air quality, fire risk) that people should not hike in. Phrases like "risk of brain damage" need to be used and charges of neglect and cruelty to animals need to be more widely publicized. People don't know the risks or discount them and they need to better understand and to face consequences. That may help people think twice. MOO.
     
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  11. Pumphouse363

    Pumphouse363 Well-Known Member

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    San Francisco Chronicle
    @sfchronicle

    ·
    20 Aug

    “They probably went to just venture out, so it wouldn’t have been like an extreme hike of any sort,” a family friend said. “It was probably just kind of, since they lived near the trailhead, ‘Let’s take a look at these things.’”
     
  12. Pumphouse363

    Pumphouse363 Well-Known Member

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    San Francisco Chronicle
    @sfchronicle

    ·
    20 Aug

    “They probably went to just venture out, so it wouldn’t have been like an extreme hike of any sort,” a family friend said. “It was probably just kind of, since they lived near the trailhead, ‘Let’s take a look at these things.’”
     
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  13. Pumphouse363

    Pumphouse363 Well-Known Member

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    Im sure it’s not uncommon for some people to do this. When I was younger I might even have done it myself - but not when I was 45 with my first (and only) 12 month old baby. We are assuming they were avid hikers on the one hand, but inexperienced on the other. If we are saying the were experienced then it stands to reason they would have taken every precaution to safeguard, not only themselves, but also Miju and Oski. Looking at the ALLtrails account Jon didn’t really appear to hike in areas as remote and unforgiving as the SL trail.
    If we assume they actually made it to Hite Cove and managed to enjoy some fun and frolics in the river, surely as experienced hikers (or even just intelligent human beings) they would realise that returning to their vehicle would be madness in the heat of the day? They could have made the decision to follow the traditional route of the HC trail along the river and reach the main highway much more easily than heading for the SL trail. On reaching the HW they could have used their cellphone to call for someone to pick them up.
    I can’t figure why they would choose the most difficult option. MOO
     
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  14. HannahJJJ

    HannahJJJ Well-Known Member

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    I've only seen two, not quite a few, photos of JG and EC And their baby in "hiking" mode.

    I believe it was news-reported that Rosanna Heaslett said they hiked weekends. It appears she did some housekeeping of Gerrish-Chung homes and, Moo, wasn't a close girlfriend of EC. Moo, I don't believe any close girlfriends or Chung family members have commented at all on this tragedy.

    Also, the news reported that Steven Jeffe said they had planned to hike that weekend? I wonder how close of a relationship he has with the JG and EC.

    Have either Heaslett or Jeffe made statements about where JG and EC had hiked With their baby on the weekends prior to this fateful one?

    Moo. All Moo.



    Moo. All Moo.
     
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  15. I'd like to see map of this option. How far and which highway? TIA
    MOO
     
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  16. Pumphouse363

    Pumphouse363 Well-Known Member

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  17. Pumphouse363

    Pumphouse363 Well-Known Member

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    Highway 140 about 3.5 miles and looks a better option to me.
     
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  18. IceIce9

    IceIce9 Verified EMT

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    Double post
     
  19. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    Um- I said people were frolicking in the river DOWNSTREAM from JC-EC. Highway 140 runs along the Merced River, you can drive right to it and frolic to your heart's content, very popular activity on a Sunday. No, they wouldn't see the JG-EC family doing the same because you couldn't drive to the river where they were, and hiking down to it is not a good idea in summer. Here's a screen shot from Google Maps of the confluence of the Merced River and South Fork Merced River. The green marker at right labels the north end of the Hites Cove Trail. You can see highway 140 along the south side and my, look at all that frolic-friendly river.
     

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