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. loveisthemovement

    loveisthemovement Well-Known Member

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  2. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why they think they started out in the afternoon? Since their last communication was texting the pic of the baby hiking backpack at 6:45am that morning, I assume they started hiking early. Pretty sure they lived not too far from the trailhead so I don’t think it would take too long to drive to it.

    I wonder if they started the hike in the morning but got turned around/lost on trails and it ended up taking hours longer in the extreme heat? It’s happened to me.
     
  3. annpats

    annpats Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. There is a big difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat stroke kills. I'm thinking they now all had heat stroke.

    Especially as the man was found sitting down. That indicates he tried to rest.

    But too late. Even rest wouldn't have helped in those temperatures.

    It was madness to even consider a hike there. Same with the runner Philip Kreycik who also died a few weeks ago in California after going for a jog in a rural recreational area, in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

    That's over 37.5°C, which is just ridiculously hot to a British, European or Canadian. How can anyone even be out in it, let alone be walking, hiking or jogging in it?!

    Even local Californians themselves can be caught out by the dangers.

    It's very sad. RIP to all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
  4. annpats

    annpats Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget Johnathan was actually British, and would've never experienced these temperatures before moving to California. If you're not brought up with it, hot weather is very difficult thing to understand how quickly deadly it can be.

    When you live in a country like the UK that never gets much beyond 25°C (77°F) even in the height of summer, then move to California, all hot weather feels the same, whether it's 25°C, 30°C, 35°C, 40°C....but just 5°C heat increase in weather can send your body over the edge, especially with no breeze and when exercising. It's happened to me twice, but I was never far from civilisation and only had mild heat exhaustion, not heat stroke.

    It was a serious error of judgement to hike there in nearly 40°C. The very name 'California' comes from the Spanish for 'Hot Furnace' and we need to remember that and look after ourselves more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
  5. Rosegold68

    Rosegold68 Well-Known Member

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    The U.K. DOES get hotter than 25 c during our summers, 30 c and upwards in more recent years.

    and he’s well travelled and intelligent/experienced.

    wondering if the female who was found further up the hill was coming towards her partner, or walking away from him? Which direction
     
    d4i5y, Lilibet, NSamuelle and 8 others like this.
  6. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    So there IS a possibility of a lightning strike. We know it was hot and sunny, but if there was a chance of storms, there could have been some rogue lightning strikes?
     
    LucyOso, Marg from Oz, Suglo and 2 others like this.
  7. annpats

    annpats Well-Known Member

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    I know, I live there. :D

    But we rarely get more than 25°C every summer. Last summer we did, this summer just a week or two of warm weather, then cool and rainy.

    It's a rock in the north Atlantic, it just doesn't have the weather system to get much higher temperatures.

    The UK is right in the jet stream bringing in wet and cool air, so to make out like it's on a level of heat consistent with California is incorrect.

    Terrain can also be a factor and needless to say, the UK doesn't have any dry and arid areas, desert or mountainous bushland with no tree cover.
     
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  8. coffeeandacig

    coffeeandacig ...

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    Just an fyi...Lightening strikes leave a burn mark on the ground or object. Even if followed by torrential rains, it will still remain.
     
  9. dcfi224

    dcfi224 Verified Pharmacist

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    Hopefully they will be able to get cell tower information to determine when the last time his phone had service was and maybe get a better idea of a timeline?
     
  10. Rosegold68

    Rosegold68 Well-Known Member

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    well yes, i live in the UK too and I sell air cooling systems. our sales definitely rise year on year and its been hot down here for more than a few weeks, definitely not the hottest summer but temps are increasing prob due to global issues but i'm happy with the sales!
     
  11. Rosegold68

    Rosegold68 Well-Known Member

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    were there any witnesses on the trail who saw them? not sure i've seen it anywhere but then half the reports are unavailable to EU so may have missed those
     
  12. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I would expect some sort of burn mark even from an indirect strike like a ground current strike. It makes some sense b/c of frequent lightning in area and it’s a real threat for all hikers. And it could account for the seemingly suddenness of the event.

    BUT I’m leaning away from lightning b/c of the statistics that only 10% of people struck actually die. And here we have all 4 dead. Also I would think there would be some tell-tale signs, burns etc. And mainly b/c we now know they were found with the father sitting and the mother further up the hill—likely going to get help. That makes me think of something slower like heat stroke.
     
  13. Thechaoz

    Thechaoz New Member

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    I'd wager everything I had on suicide or murder suicide and it's not even close
     
  14. Megnut

    Megnut Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps they hiked longer and farther than originally planned... before the heat really ramped up... and were trying to beat the heat on the way back to their car... exhausted all of them, perhaps dad sat down to wait, to let mom catch up to them, all succumbing to the unrelenting heat maximized by exertion.

    Maybe they'd been at it for 6-8 hours.

    Heartbreaking whatever happened.

    JMO
     
  15. Kaley Smith

    Kaley Smith Well-Known Member

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    So poisoning has been ruled out? If you're not used to heat you're even less likely to go out in it, don't you think? They must have started out in the morning, as no one in their right minds would willingly go out on a long hike in the afternoon with a baby in those extreme temperatures. By all reports, the baby had doting parents. I read the father was 45 and the mother was 31, so maybe she was better able to withstand the heat and lived longer?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
  16. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    I found this article about heatstroke interesting:

    What It Feels Like to Die from Heatstroke


    I've been wondering if they all could have died from heatstroke. Were they acclimated to this environment?

    One hypothetical scenario: Something happened to one of the adults and they were overcome by heatstroke. The other (carrying the child in a child carrier) struggled to help them and then they also succumbed as a result of overexertion. The child would ultimately die and perhaps the dog refused to leave them.

    While the post-mortem signs of heatstroke can be non-apparent in some cases though, it would be surprising if none of them showed any symptoms?
    https://www.aaimedicine.org/journal-of-insurance-medicine/jim/2002/034-02-0114.pdf
     
  17. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly what I’m now thinking. Maybe something like a 4 hour hike turned into all day in 109 degrees. I’ve gotten lost on a hike in the desert, and I was only in overheated panic mode for about 30 minutes. If they were lost for hours they could have just not quite made it back in time. They had a little water left in the bladder—they were probably conserving.
     
  18. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    I’m really wondering what time they got to the trailhead. Surely they would have checked the truck’s gps to find out.
     
  19. tarabull

    tarabull Life is a puzzle.

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    But insync?
     
  20. Officer Dibble

    Officer Dibble Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I believe its something along these lines
     
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