CA - Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, daughter, 1 & dog, suspicious death hiking area, Aug 2021 #6

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

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  1. MrsEmmaPeel

    MrsEmmaPeel Well-Known Member

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    @Lexiintoronto, sadly, too often Fear = Flight. We're hardwired for that. (Lost hikers walking in circles.) It takes knowledge and calm to assess a situation. I know that I would have had no idea that staying in the water would have saved me. I do now!
     


  2. MrsEmmaPeel

    MrsEmmaPeel Well-Known Member

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    @RickshawFan How does the journalist know how it feels to die of heat? Research and imagination. It's what writers do :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  3. Rocky Mountain Hi

    Rocky Mountain Hi Well-Known Member

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    Didn't someone post a thread or two earlier, that the Devil's Gulch area tends to trap heat? And I wonder how cool the water would be, if it's warm enough to generate toxic algae. Cooler than the air, which is the important thing, but I wonder how easy a decision it would be to make: stay near or in the water (even though (possibly) the canyon traps heat), or make a break for the car, in spite of the grueling challenge on the switchbacks?

    And what do you do if you wait until dusk at the river, then have to climb up the mountain in the dark?

    These are very tough calls for a family to make, IMO.
     
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  4. HannahJJJ

    HannahJJJ Well-Known Member

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    I agree, it leans towards the ludicrous.

    I believe that Oski was the sibling to EC's mother's dog?

    He graced EC's life for six, seven years? He looked healthy, looked as if he had been well-taken care of, and only my "sense" tells me he was her "baby". Moo.

    As for taking their delicate, little human baby girl--so new to the world, only twelve Months old!-- as I said earlier, imo/Moo go deeper, much deeper. Yes, indeed. Moo.
     
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  5. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Well, yeah, but "close call" isn't the same as dying.
     
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  6. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I don't think I would have thought of that, either.
    I wonder if they could have just body-surfed downstream?
     
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  7. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    They could have done that, though.... lovely day around the pool? They chose not to; it wasn't that they couldn't because of COVID.

    This is an interesting discussion, though, the impact of COVID on our decision-making outdoors.

    It's possible that during the height of the pandemic, folks started seeing nature as more benign than they did before, since it was one of the few free-feeling outlets during our very isolated lives.
    Of course, the irony is that COVID is a great example of how nature is in charge, and not us. All we can do is mitigate and respond. Nature is what it is.
     
  8. NSamuelle

    NSamuelle Well-Known Member

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    Speculation only, I wonder how much there was a perverse incentive to continue on the trail *because* they realized that Oski and Miju, or both, were suffering - and EC/JG couldn’t wrap their minds around that (or the attendant guilt) in a rational way. It’s not unfathomable as it’s human nature to avoid, avoid, avoid and “throw good money after bad” when things get scary.

    Forgive the dime-store psychology, but our minds protect us against the unthinkable through myriad “irrational” mechanisms. E.g., if they realized that they would likely be charged with child endangerment or animal cruelty after turning around at the river and returning to the truck and rushing to a hospital/vet, they might have minimized the danger (Miju is just tired or cranky / Oski is just hungry….) and continued on.

    I am not suggesting in any way that they intended to harm their precious baby or dog - quite the opposite, i.e., the realization that they had inadvertently harmed their dependents was unthinkable/unbearable and drove additional bad decision-making, rather than prompting rational, corrective behavior.
     
  9. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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  10. Ruthbullock

    Ruthbullock Well-Known Member

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    I think that’s your presumptions, rather than fact- my parents were exceptional hikers and took me and my brother up many high peaks in summer wearing tank tops and hats (yes they did have other layers they weren’t wearing), as for the dog we never take a dog bowl as our dogs will drink from a bottle, or we pour some into our hand, or even on the floor and they will drink. However we have always carried more than one water vestibule, at least one each (plus extra for the dog), but as others have previously posted we have never been told they didn’t have more water, only that one vestibule had trace amounts left.
     
  11. Ruthbullock

    Ruthbullock Well-Known Member

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    I bet if they didn’t have a dog and a child that would have been an option- but the dog and the baby would need more food and hydration so personally IMO I would carry on- which ultimately could have been the worst of two evils.
     
  12. IceIce9

    IceIce9 Verified EMT

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    But you were prepared with water for humans and extra water for the dog. They were not prepared with even enough water for the humans let alone extra water for the dog. And they didn’t have other layers of clothing they weren’t wearing, either.

    My parents were exceptional hikers as well and climbed many peaks but they ensured they were well prepared with ample water, layers of clothing, hats, and high energy snacks. Not to mention sunscreen and a small hiker first aid kit. Enough water, supplies, and clothing for themselves, their children, and the dog.
     
  13. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    Bravo!
     
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  14. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

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  15. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    BBM
    From LE transcript:

    "It should be noted that there was only one 85 oz water bladder located with the family. This water bladder was empty and no other water containers or water filtration systems were located amongst the family."
    I assume if they discarded empty bottles they would have been found by LE along the trail. MOO
     
  16. Lexiintoronto

    Lexiintoronto Well-Known Member

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    This is excellent—I was reading the thread backwards and didn’t realize you answered the questions I was thinking about before I posted. Thank you!
     
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  17. ChatteringBirds

    ChatteringBirds Well-Known Member

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    That day, as they headed out, they must have believed they had enough water for everyone, though. Only hours later would they have realized their mistake.
    It's a cognitive bias to think, "We would have known to bring much more water. They remind me of us. How could they have only brought 2.5 L for that loop ..."
    But I think they just misjudged it. They truly didn't know what they'd be facing that day.
     
  18. RedHaus

    RedHaus Well-Known Member

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    I have wondered this too @NSamuelle, but was not sure how to express it without sounding crass. So thank you for opening this door so gently. I have considered, like you, that JG/EC may have been driven to hike their last 2 miles up SLT in a desperate attempt to get back to the truck and home to 'make all this right again - get Miju and Oski back to safety.' Their motivation, perhaps understandably, could have been to avoid being discovered with two critically ailing dependents by LE or SARS. IMO, they may have thought if they retreated to the river to get / stay cool and wait for rescue or much cooler temperatures overnight, then they might face allegations as you describe. And that alone might have scared them into their demise. It might not have required a nefarious character to scare them to death.

    All IMO.
     
  19. RedHaus

    RedHaus Well-Known Member

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    I think you know by now, @neesaki, that I tend to agree with you. :cool:

    To that point, did you or anyone else notice in Sheriff Briese's 9/30/2021 presser on this case, no manner of death was announced? Only cause of death. And that includes the Q&A session if my notes are accurate (it was hard to hear questions).

    If this is true, does that mean LE is still undecided on manner of death? They had prevously announced suicide was ruled out. So that leaves accident, homicide and natural manners of death. With heat stroke as cause of death, you'd think that finding would be accompanied by 'accident' as manner of death. So then why didn't the Sheriff say that if it was settled? I just wonder if manner of death is in fact still undetermined? If so, it could be LE is as confused as we are on this.

    Did anyone read or hear an announcement by the Sheriff on manner of death for this case?
     
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  20. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    BBM...
    Boy, William of Ockham might have something to say about this! ;)
     
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