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

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

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  1. OldProtozoan

    OldProtozoan Well-Known Member

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  2. CharadeYouAre

    CharadeYouAre Well-Known Member

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    He also has a profile on AllTrails, but I can't link for some reason. He has pics and trail reviews.
     
  3. Kaley Smith

    Kaley Smith Well-Known Member

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    Who takes a one-year old baby out on a remote hiking trail in very hot temperatures?
     
  4. Andreee

    Andreee Well-Known Member

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    No, I hadn't read that before! Is there any chance of someone pasting the whole article, as it is pay blocked.
     
  5. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    WS copy write rules only allow 10% of the article to be quoted. There is a lot of local color and search filler, but here is the important info for us:

    About 1.5 miles down the switchbacks, around 11 a.m. Tuesday, the team found the family in the middle of the trail. The husband was in a seated position, the child beside him along with the dog, and the wife just a little farther up the hill. Briese [the sheriff deputy] said they believe the family was returning to their truck.

    A cell phone was in Gerrish’s pocket. There is little to no cell coverage on that section of trail. Investigators are trying to determine if the phone saved any failed text message drafts, attempted calls or photos, along with GPS location data, Briese said.

    The family also had a backpack with a bladder that held a small amount of water, the sheriff said. They sent the water for testing. There was no indication whether the family had been swimming, as they would have dried off by the time they were found, he said.

    'Not one clue': The mystery is only deepening around the family found dead on a Sierra trail

    Other info:
    No bottle of medicine found, it was 107-109 degrees Sunday afternoon when it is believed they hiked, because they still had water, dehydration seems a long shot, the water has been sent for testing, as have the bacteria blooms and water along the trail.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
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  6. Andreee

    Andreee Well-Known Member

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    Did you see something that made you think about dark valleys and dark places? I saw some of their travels but when I kept seeing that sweet little puppy in earlier photos I stopped looking as it made me sad.
     
  7. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    This is the part that intrigues me:

    Even though they were “in the middle of the trail” (as opposed to being off trail, I assume), Jonathan must have been leaning against a tree or rock to have died sitting up. He wasn’t holding the baby or perhaps had dropped the baby when he died? Could Ellen have started to go ahead for help since she was “just a little further up the hill”? If they were “returning to their truck” I wonder how far they had hiked.

    It is such a tragedy. :(
     
  8. TootsieFootsie

    TootsieFootsie Well-Known Member

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    It does sound like Ellen was on her way to trying to get help when she collapsed.
     
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  9. Sarahlou

    Sarahlou Well-Known Member

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    This just gets more intriguing! If only they were in an area where they could have phoned for help!
     
  10. katydid23

    katydid23 On Time Out

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    Tragically, I believe that sweet little baby may have died first. If it was 107 to 109 degrees, that little body would have been under tremendous stress. And if that happened, the parents would have been inconsolable and helpless, as they were also likely to be suffering from heat exhaustion, imo.
     
  11. Andreee

    Andreee Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it does. After hearing these latest details, I would eliminate the self caused or foul play scenarios, just my opinion.
     
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  12. Andreee

    Andreee Well-Known Member

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    That does seem like a horrible possibility, and if so perhaps the dog survived awhile longer, staying with his family and dying later. I just hope that the answers come soon for the sake of the grieving family.
     
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  13. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it seems likely that the baby died first or was in distress so Ellen tried to go for help. That is brutal heat and heat stroke can kill fast. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion.

    How heat stroke kills | CNN
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
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  14. katydid23

    katydid23 On Time Out

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    Right, I posted a link upthread saying that Heat Exhaustion comes on first and if not corrected it can turn into Heat Stroke within 30 minutes.

    And the only way to correct heat exhaustion is by lowering the body temperature with shade, lots of water and perhaps immersion in cool water. But I don't see them being able to do that on that mountain in 109 degree temps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
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  15. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and one article I read said that sometimes the body can go straight to heat stroke without even experiencing heat exhaustion. Either way, it’s deadly. I can’t imagine even wanting to get out of the car if the temperature was that high. Despite the fact that the sheriff said they started hiking in the afternoon, I wonder if they started in the morning when it was cooler and went further than they should have. Or perhaps it took longer than expected to drive to the trail. Of course, he may have a good reason for saying they started out in the afternoon, but it’s hard to imagine.
     
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  16. Andreee

    Andreee Well-Known Member

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    Here is an example of tourists (with a toddler) surviving a heatstroke situation...

    Three tourists and a toddler suffer heatstroke while bushwalking in 45C outback
     
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  17. Sarahlou

    Sarahlou Well-Known Member

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    Just another thought, I wonder if Jonathan had maybe got an injury and that's why he had sat down and couldn't go for help himself?
     
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  18. Rguycali

    Rguycali Well-Known Member

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    This is the location where the dirt road turns into the trail, you can see where the switchbacks start also off the dirt road you can see the helipad.

    Google Maps

    No other animals/wildlife affected, no other persons, and no others found them for 48 hours. Clearly they took a break as baby was out of the backpack. This is an odd case. I'm thinking they got sick from something, not sure on heatstroke. I wonder if the water bladder they were using was new.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
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  19. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    Not only was it super hot that day but it was unusually humid. Granted, I’m down on the valley floor but it doesn’t get much cooler at those elevations. In fact, it normally feels hotter up there than down at lower elevations. It doesn’t make any sense to start a hike with a small child in the afternoon. There were also thunderstorm warnings that day up in the Sierra foothills. A little dangerous to be hiking with a small child in those conditions. It makes me wonder about their state of mind.
     
  20. Officer Dibble

    Officer Dibble Well-Known Member

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