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. NSamuelle

    NSamuelle Well-Known Member

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    In heatstroke, you may find cerebral edema, visceral petechial hemorrhages, subendocardial hemorrhages, and hepatocyte necrosis. Depending on how recent the deaths and how long the exposure pre-mortem.
     


  2. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    IMO, what that statement means is they're not trying to gather evidence on an external culprit. In particular, they're not assigning police resources to a wide search and review of any security footage or dashcam videos to try to track any vehicles that may have parked in the vicinity, they're not bringing in forensic experts to examine every inch of the trail looking for shoe prints, or fibre or hair, etc.

    A homicide investigation is extremely resource intensive, and IMO, police have very clear protocols to follow when initially examining a death scene and what evidence is required to trigger a full-on homicide investigation.
     
  3. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    The Mariposa County Coroner's Office was only able to rule out acute trauma, such as stabbing, gunshot wounds or blunt-force trauma. Toxicology results are expected in two to three weeks. A necropsy is also being conducted on the dog.

    More questions than answers after autopsy of family found dead

    Would the necropsy yield answers quicker than the autopsy?
     
  4. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    In one article I read, there was a description of what SAR/First Responders first found at the scene. It described foot & pawprints in the area. I can't find the story again, it may be one of the pay wall articles. Anyway, I mention this because the way the scene was described indicated there was nothing unusual. Meaning there was no indication someone other than the family was there.
     
  5. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    I have the same question!
     
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  6. MizStery

    MizStery Missing Pregnant Lacy P. brought me here in 2005

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    It sounds like historically this hiking area has Pine Trees. As noted in the Daily Mail updated link of August 22,2021,”The area is normally populated by pines, sadly many of which were destroyed by the 2018 Ferguson Fire”
    Deaths of Brit software developer, wife, baby & dog during hike are now NOT being treated as murder | Daily Mail Online

    So shade would be almost nonexistent.This is tragic on every level.

    My opinion only
     
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  7. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    They could all have splashed in the water to cool down. A baby is more prone to overheating plus was in a carrier against another hot body.
     
  8. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, which adult had a brain injury? Somehow missed that detail. Thanks if someone could pls loop me in or paste a link.
     
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  9. chloeandpeggy

    chloeandpeggy Active Member

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    Forensic pathology and post-mortem examination in hyperthermia/"heat stroke" is really multimodal. Biochemical analysis is key, to evaluate for myoglobin, increased creatinine-kinase (by products of muscle breakdown which occurs w/ hyperthermia), etc. It should be straightforward for an experienced medical examiner to determine, especially given the apparent circumstances (mid-day hike in extreme temp). The fact that is WAS NOT straightforward on the ME findings is what bothers me.

    Lastly- are we all forgetting that it is highly unlikelty that 2 adults, an infant and a canine were all "found down" in the same area (albeit EC was slightly more up the hill). Based on physiology alone, it is doubtful they all succombed to heatstroke at the same time.

    What position did the husband have at Google? An article states EC was studying "integrative medicine" which was another facet that stood out to me.
     
  10. NSamuelle

    NSamuelle Well-Known Member

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    Ellen Chung - look to her May 2018/October 2019 Instagram posts; her employer also referenced it on Facebook. If you Google “Ellen Chung” and “traumatic brain injury” and “Satori” you should find her employer’s page on FB. She also wrote in her May 2018 IG that she was diagnosed with a “debilitating health condition” (this may have been in addition to the TBI, which apparently happened around 2008), and may “never work for a company again,” and would take her life in a different direction on “funemployment.” October 2019 refers to the TBI as a “dark and lost time.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  11. MrsEmmaPeel

    MrsEmmaPeel Well-Known Member

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    @Knox There is quite a bit of conjecture about why Kreycik ended up where he was. It was definitely off a main trail, but there was some argument about whether he headed down an unofficial trail or a path formed by animals or a future trail not yet fully built out. No one knows what his thought process was, whether he thought he was taking a shortcut or whether he saw buildings nearby and thought help would be there. Whatever the case, it was not towards his car nor was it related to the route he had planned originally. One theory is that the heatstroke made him confused and he took a wrong turn and/or made a series of mistakes. In fact, his friend who has analyzed PK's sport watch believes that the heat affecting his judgement was ultimately what did Kreycik in. His brain simply wasn't working right. His friend also intimated, if I remember correctly, that where Philip was found was a grey zone that fell between two intensive search areas, a gap that was not searched, that the two parties thought had been searched.
     
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  12. Coquette

    Coquette Observer

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    Yes, that's what I meant. Thanks for clarifying.


    I don't see how they can possibly rule out murder/suicide without full toxicology results.
     
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  13. whitelilac

    whitelilac Well-Known Member

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    I was looking for a particular case I remembered where only the dog (a dachshund) survived heatstroke in Death Valley. In googling, I found several heatstroke deaths, including a case in April of this year. In this one, 3 dogs survived, the husband, an Army veteran died, and his wife was barely found alive. The temps were around 100 degrees. You just never know. Good grief, to think I have hiked in those temperatures when I was young and foolish.
    I don't know what happened to this poor family here, but I am leaning to heatstroke.
     
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  14. MrsEmmaPeel

    MrsEmmaPeel Well-Known Member

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    As for determining cause of death from heatstroke, a quick google indicates that it isn't that simple. It's one thing IF you know the person suffered heatstroke, but if cause of death is unknown, it seems it isn't that straightforward. Two statements:

    "The pathological investigation of deaths thought to be due to heat-stroke, or hyperthermia can be challenging. This article, guest authored by Dr Andrew Davison (Senior Lecturer in Forensic Pathology at the Wales Institute of Forensic Medicine), explores the pathophysiology of heat-related deaths."

    Read more: pathophysiology of heat-related illness and death :: www.forensicmed.co.uk
    ---

    "The autopsy findings of heat stroke may be minimal and are non-specific, particularly if the survival interval is short. Findings may include cerebral edema, visceral petechial hemorrhages, subendocardial hemorrhages, and hepatocyte necrosis. . . ."
     
  15. annpats

    annpats Well-Known Member

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    It states on the Satori Yoga FB post (link below) that Ellen used yoga to help with her TBI, and has been practising for 10 years and is working towards a qualification.

    So, she must have had the accident/TBI young. She was 27 this year, so must've had it when she was 17 at least.

    However, if she's teaching yoga and going hiking, I do find it odd how she stated she'll 'never work for a company again' as she seems more than capable.
    MOO.

    Satori Yoga Studio
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  16. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    Is the biochemical analysis you refer to part of the tox screen? I'm not clear on what you are pointing out as it relates to the ME findings?
     
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  17. Noelscat

    Noelscat Active Member

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    This article is behind a paywall (San Francisco Chronicle), but here it is:

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

    and the quote you're referring to:

    "When the deputy found the truck, a search-and-rescue team hiked down the steep and straight road with flashlights and found shoe and paw prints similar to what you’d expect from a family of that size with a dog, Briese said."​
     
  18. TailSpin

    TailSpin Active Member

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    I still think the heat is the most likely cause of death. They were climbing up the switchbacks and likely one of them started to feel ill and they all decided to rest for a while. Resting did not help and they got worse over time and only Ellen had the energy to get up and attempt to continue on (to reach the car or mobile service). We heard the husband had a phone but maybe Ellen had one as well or perhaps it was in the car? She may also have been too ill to think about the phone.

    The snakebites, lightning strike, mass poisoning , gass theories just seem so much more unlikely and do not fit the evidence so far.
     
  19. SophieRose

    SophieRose Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't it show 115 degrees at noontime at Aug 15? They certainly wouldn't have been expecting that.
     
  20. TailSpin

    TailSpin Active Member

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    Even without mobile service I would expect that a modern phone would keep track of GPS data so that police could reconstruct the path they took with timestamps. We could then determine if they got lost or if they stopped to rest, swim, etc.

    My assumption is that this was meant to be a morning hike before the heat set in and something went wrong and they got caught in the heat.
     
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