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. oceanstarryeyes

    oceanstarryeyes Well-Known Member

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  2. MrsEmmaPeel

    MrsEmmaPeel Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, a knowledgeable insider on the Philip Kreycik thread just posted that he died of "Classical" not "Exertional" Heatstroke. I would have assumed, wrongly, that it was his exertion. It was the heat, plain and simple. However, his exertion (exercise) got him far enough away from his car that when the heat attacked, he was beyond help, as were the Gerrish-Chungs. I believe the baby and dog are the keys here. Both more sensitive to heat than the adults, but all of them in the wrong place at the wrong time.
     
  3. Countem

    Countem Verified CPA - assurance services

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    RSBM
    There is a good article here about toxic algae and the multitude of symptoms that it can cause including diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, and neurological conditions such as dizziness and muscle weakness.

    https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article253636158.html

    While they may have vomited if they had drank water with toxic algae, it could have been earlier down the trail, depending on where they started feeling ill (if they got ill at all, since we don’t know their causes of death). I don’t believe that the toxic algae alone would have caused all of their deaths, but that, if they were exposed to it, it could have been a contributing factor along with the excessive heat.

    All JMO, MOO.
     
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  4. Officer Dibble

    Officer Dibble Well-Known Member

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    Let me word that more precisely <modsnip> . IMo He is taking into account it could be Algae but needs more expert help, and finding experts in Algae toxicity could take a few days.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2021
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  5. annpats

    annpats Well-Known Member

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    The more I read about it, the more I'm leaning towards heatstroke. Philip Kreycik also died while out exercising in high California temperatures and he also died of heatstroke, yet was supposedly used to the heat and almost an ultra-runner.

    I'm wondering if Jonathan and his wife, living in the area, just thought that it'd all be OK (as they were on other hikes) and this time just underestimated the heat, their ability, and it all ended in a terrible unfortunate accident.

    Philip Kreycik also underestimated the heat and terrain and the quickly deadly effect it can have.

    Many people do underestimate things. Many people pass away in national parks and difficult terrain both in the summer heat and the winter cold. It can even go wrong for the pro-level people, nevermind a normal family.

    Even getting lost by just few hundred metres, then having to go back can add another km (or mile) to your route. You'll be out in the heat longer, working your body even more than planned. And then that could tip you over into heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  6. Officer Dibble

    Officer Dibble Well-Known Member

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    What if, just supposing, Mum had run back to car for help but didn't have a phone signal there and realised she didn't have the car keys, so ran back to get the car keys then finding a terrible scene was heading back towards help/car/civilisation? JMO MOO
     
  7. MrsEmmaPeel

    MrsEmmaPeel Well-Known Member

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    @katydid23 I woke up this morning remembering a hike I sent my son on when he was 8 years old. We were in Mexico at a mountain lodge, very remote in the Copper Canyon area. It was spring, not hot but very mild that morning. My husband was going hiking with a guide and some other men, and I foolishly sent my son with them. At the end of the day, the men returned, carrying my son. He had vomited and was faint. At the time, I assumed dehydration, so we quickly urged him to drink water, and we put him to bed. The mountains cooled considerably at night. He slept deeply and long. For a week after, he was not quite himself but eventually recovered. I tell this story because we as parents do learn parenting by trial and error-- and sometime the errors are catastrophic. Reading about Phil Kreycik I now believe my son suffered a heat-related event, as a child keeping up with men on a strenuous hike up a barren mountain in the middle of the day. I had totally forgotten the incident. Thank God, he's now 35!
     
  8. Speculaytor

    Speculaytor Well-Known Member

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    VERY possible scenario right here!!
     
  9. MizStery

    MizStery Missing Pregnant Lacy P. brought me here in 2005

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    Rain Check and fellow Webseluths posters the Daily Mail has updated their website to credit Fox News with the following information “Deaths of Brit Google engineer, wife, baby and dog during California hike are now NOT being treated as murder: Mystery as police say autopsy failed to reveal answers” In the link below I linked the Daily Mail article. There are several photos of the family and a maps.


    Deaths of Brit Google engineer, wife, baby and dog during California hike are now
    NOT being treated as murder: Mystery as police say autopsy failed to reveal answers and it will be WEEKS until they get toxicology results
    By HENRY MARTIN FOR MAILONLINE

    PUBLISHED: 06:45 EDT, 22 August 2021 | UPDATED: 09:39 EDT, 22 August 2021

    The Marisopa County Sheriff's Office is now ruling out homicide in the hiking trail deaths, Fox News reports. Spokeswoman Kristie Mitchell said: 'Initially, yes, when we come across a family with no apparent cause of death, there's no smoking gun, there's no suicide note, there's nothing like that, we have to consider all options.

    Deaths of Google engineer, wife, baby and dog during hike are now NOT being treated as murder | Daily Mail Online
     
  10. CharadeYouAre

    CharadeYouAre Well-Known Member

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    How can they rule out homicide if they don't have tox results?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  11. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    This was my point yesterday, I'm aware there was no service in the area. But one of them still could have tried to call 911 or send a text message.
    Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office Now Able to Accept Emergency Text Messages
    How long until they receive cell phone records?
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A family friend says Ellen Chung and Jonathan Gerrish went missing with their child and family dog.

    The last contact was a photo they uploaded Sunday at 6:45 a.m. of the baby backpack they take with them.
    Entire family reported missing, later found dead in Mariposa County

    Curious about the last contact, it's oddly worded. What was the context of the photo I wonder, was the baby in the backpack? Facebook, IG?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  12. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this, I followed initially, but didn't keep up. Where was Philip's body found in relation to the trail he was running?

    The beneficial thing in this case, the family was found quickly. So unlike Philip who was found weeks later. I would assume it will be easier in some ways to determine COD?
     
  13. katydid23

    katydid23 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, Phillip had gone off the main trial, looking for shade under some tall brush.
     
  14. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    From the article I posted earlier, it sounded like a process of elimination along with circumstantial factors—like if they were in hot temps for a long time etc…Along with any signs that typically can go along with heat stroke, I would imagine?
     
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  15. tarabull

    tarabull Life is a puzzle.

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  16. annpats

    annpats Well-Known Member

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  17. Auntie Cipation

    Auntie Cipation Context Matters.

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    One question I have is whether the location of dad/baby/dog would have been in shade midday or early afternoon.

    Also how much farther up the hill was mom?

    I suspect, like others have mentioned, that it started with either the dog or the baby in distress. (if baby, heat, if dog, either heat or algae water from creek, or even rattler bite or stinging insects)

    They stop in the shade (if there is shade) to rest and try to help. But just like with Phil Kreycik, that's not enough. Heat then starts to affect everyone. Mom sets out to try to get help and only gets however far up the hill before heat stops her too.

    Autopsy of the dog may be key in offering clues here.

    MOO
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  18. NSamuelle

    NSamuelle Well-Known Member

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    I’m confused as well. I think it’s extremely unlikely that a 3rd party poisoned their water source (how would they get to it, why, etc.) or poisoned/attacked them on the trail without leaving marks on bodies and blood under the dog’s nails, etc. But if it was a murder-suicide via poisoning, that’s a “homicide.”

    I don’t think the heatstroke theories are crazy but I just don’t see it with the proximity of the bodies and the background of the victims. If it was heatstroke, it means that two experienced hikers made a very bad decision. That’s different from blaming them for their own demise, which I don’t - everyone makes mistakes; but a Red Cross instructor, health nut, and adventurer seem unlikely to make a fatal mistake that would be spelled out in the weather forecast.

    Other theories we have considered:
    - toxic algae (I’ll see what articles I can find but algae isn’t an instanteanous death; it might have incapacitated them enough to make them vulnerable to the elements, dehydration, etc., but onset is not that fast in adults).
    - lightning (cool theory, but wouldn’t you have marks on the body? If anyone can find a case of lightning strikes not leaving a mark, that would be helpful. Otherwise I think this is ruled out).
    - CO - No. The nearest mine was 3 miles away and a carboxyhemoglobin test would be back by now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  19. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    Esp when the death of a fit trail runner on steep hills due to high heat was recently all over the news in Cali?
     
  20. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    In that link, it appears there's an eyewitness who encountered the hiker and tried to give aid, and called 911.

    Or perhaps the man called 911 himself, and the 911 operator interviewed him. But by the time LE got there, he'd died.

    Whatever the interactions before he died, the hiker apparently didn't complain of being attacked, bitten by a rattlesnake, drinking bad water, having chest pains, etc. He'd have spoken about his symptoms and behaved as though he was experiencing heat exhaustion/ stroke.

    JMO
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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