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. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Wow. Thanks so much for contributing this event. It highlights for me how something like this can happen and how easy it is that a child can slip away without you knowing. Thank goodness for your medics.
     


  2. Lexiintoronto

    Lexiintoronto Well-Known Member

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    What if this was a power hike. Not a planned short hike, but a deliberate, very fast-paced long one? (I’m sure someone else here may have brought this up by now.)

    “Sure, if you want to get faster, you have to run fast. But even power hiking on hilly terrain can help tap into some of the same strength-building effects of speed work on flat ground. And “stacking those workouts overtime gets you faster paces,” says Charboneau. “The key is you’re enjoying it the whole way, versus hating every second or feeling bad about yourself when you finish.”

    Even if you’re just trying to enjoy yourself, don’t think of power hiking as going for a stroll. “It’s about moving forward with purpose,” says Nettik. “The faster you get your feet off the ground, the more quickly you’ll move.”
    E77537EA-7AE2-4FAC-8886-E05B5B916E45.jpeg

    Walking Uphill | Power Hiking While Trail Running

    When I googled the images of power hikers they’re almost all wearing shorts and short-sleeved tops & little gear.

    ETA: JG carrying Miju and the gear and EC carrying nothing may have ‘evened’ the playing field. They’d keep at the same pace. (Still not advisable with all the other factors we know.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
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  3. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Marketing photos and glossy shoots can be very misleading.
    Kreychik may be your best comparator on trail running. He might have been wearing a singlet too?
     
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  4. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    Very plausible, fits the facts well. Would be telling if evidence could be found of previous fast-paced power hikes. Your comment on the way they typically dress is right on.
     
  5. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    I noticed this from Chronicle report of the final press conference too:
    "It appeared the new residents of the community in the rugged foothills of the Sierra underestimated the difficulty of the remote trail, the heat and the unforgiving terrain, Briese told a crowd of reporters in the chamber of the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors... “This is an unfortunate and tragic event due to the weather,” Briese said."
    He's deflecting blame from the victims, which I thought might be his motive at the beginning for suggesting external causes like carbon monoxide and not the obvious extreme heat. MOO
     
  6. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

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    It quite possible the waypoints were for a future hike, without baby and dog. As others have suggested, maybe Osaki was off leash and took off to the river. Do we know if they walked him off leash at all? I only ask because I keep my fur-baby on leash…., only because if he sees a squirrel, a rabbit, anything, he’s off like lightning. Aren’t there also bears and mountain lions in that area?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
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  7. wary

    wary Well-Known Member

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    MOO

    Ive read here that they did walk him off-leash, but I don’t know the source.

    I wouldn’t do it, because I’d be very concerned that I wouldn’t have a way to drag my dog away from a rattlesnake.

    all MOO
     
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  8. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I don't hike with my dog off leash because he's run off before.... to a water source. That's why I'm projecting this is what happened in this case.

    [There are many other reasons I don't hike with my dog off leash: most come under "Leave No Trace".]
     
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  9. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    Shirtless, shirt was left in the car. He carried no phone and no water.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
  10. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    Agree. My sense has always been that the details and the route were quite intentional. They overestimated the body's ability to discharge heat, human and canine.
     
  11. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

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    Same here re: snakes . My dog goes totally ballistic when he comes upon a turtle. And we have to watch for snakes in our yard as we live on the lake. My husband got bit just sitting out on our patio late one evening. Big copperhead slithered right under us before we even saw it. My husband yelled, raise your feet, that sob just bit me! Thank goodness our dog wasn’t out with us at the time.
     
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  12. Curious_in_NC

    Curious_in_NC Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting suggestion. I did notice that at least one of JG's previous activities recorded at AllTrails was at a running pace (9:17 min/mile on April 24, 2021). But I didn't see any other evidence suggesting he was a regular trail runner.

    There were also a couple of his AllTrails entries with an impossibly fast pace. Presumably they were recorded from a vehicle, so it's hard to draw any conclusions about what his regular practices were.

    ETA I can't imagine trying to do anything approaching a running pace wearing the baby backpack carrier.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
  13. MrsEmmaPeel

    MrsEmmaPeel Well-Known Member

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    If Philip Kreycik would run steep trails pushing his son in a stroller, then it seems very likely the GCs might power hike with a baby pack and dog. I think this is the first new idea that makes a lot of sense. The waypoints, packing light! Imagine believing you could move fast enough to beat the heat. That's the objective. If Miju fell asleep they might have been pleased. How long might Oski have kept the pace? Thank you, @Lexiintoronto and @Curious_in_NC ! I think you are nailing it.
     
  14. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    One or two of the first photos that I saw of the family showed Oski off-leash, but I just did a search for G-C and looked at images. He is leashed in 3 out of 4 of the outdoor photos where you'd expect him to be leashed, and shown wearing a flotation vest in a boat. There is also a photo of EC with him at about 6 months, indicating a long relationship. He looks very well-cared for and loved. Doesn't seem like people who are oblivious to the welfare of their dog would buy a flotation vest for him. If the sheriff mentioned a leash, one way or the other, I missed it. MOO
     
  15. starviego

    starviego Active Member

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    FINAL DETERMINATION | Mariposa Gazette
    It wasn’t until the morning (of) Aug. 18, nearly three days after the family went missing, that the bodies were recovered from the scene by helicopter. That means decomposition became a factor, including with the dog.

    Doubtlessly, three days of baking in the heat could have obscured many clues as to what killed them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
  16. aauummm

    aauummm New Member

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    Just a clarification on when the bodies were recovered, this is a quote from the following source:
    "Tuesday, August 17th, at 9:30am, Search and Rescue teams located Jonathan, Ellen, Miju and Oski approximately 1.6 miles from their vehicle on the Savage Lundy Trail deceased." I believe that the bodies were recovered the same day that they were located.
    Update – Mariposa County Sheriff on Chung-Gerrish- Pathologist Report Probable Dehydration | Sierra News Online
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
  17. HannahJJJ

    HannahJJJ Well-Known Member

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    Also, more details of their hikes in general, specifically hikes in which the baby and/or dog were taken (easy, moderate, strenuous hikes, etc.). News articles provided statements from SJ, RH, and another person--at least one of these people saying they hiked most weekends. Imo/Moo none of these people appears to be a best buddy or close girlfriend of JG and EC respectively.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
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  18. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! Copperheads can be very aggressive. They have a venomous bite, I hope your husband is ok.

    Re Gerrish and Chung, I feel terrible about their deaths, but feel worse that they took the baby along. That's not a good idea for those kinds of hikes, JMO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
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  19. Lex Parsimoniae

    Lex Parsimoniae Well-Known Member

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    No, two deputies spent Tuesday night guarding the scene, and the bodies were flown out Wednesday afternoon. "A Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office official stopped some media Wednesday afternoon along Hites Cove Road near the Hites Cove Helipad, past Apperson Mine Road, stating the scene ahead was closed. Search and rescue crews took the bodies of the Mariposa family out later that afternoon." Fresno Bee article.
     
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  20. aauummm

    aauummm New Member

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    Ah, I recall that now that you remind me. Thanks for the correction!

    I had been watching the Sheriff's video from the helicopter and the flyover video is dated Aug. 17, 2021 at about 3:30 PM. So that would mean that the bodies were still in place when the helicopter made it's flight and recorded the video. I have been searching the video as quite a bit of the Savage-Lundy Trail is shown.
     
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