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. LifeIsAMystery

    LifeIsAMystery Well-Known Member

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    Ah, makes sense. Thanks.
     
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  2. Lexiintoronto

    Lexiintoronto Well-Known Member

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    Here’s the weather data @GrimonTV posted:
    Here’s their post where they link the source of the data:
    CA - Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, daughter, 1 & dog, suspicious death remote hiking area, Aug 2021
     
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  3. WillieMac

    WillieMac Chief Procrastinator Extraordinaire

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    I agree with your opinion - but I also can't say that suicide (or homicide/suicide) can easily be ruled out. All it would take would be for one of the two adults to intentionally refill their water reserve from a tainted source at some point during their hike.

    That's not where my mind goes though. I find it more likely that the dog perhaps found a tainted water source or maybe was just overcome by the heat. After that I would guess that attempts to care for the dog seriously delayed their hike and caused their return to take longer than expected- causing them to remain out in a much hotter part of the day than they had expected to be in. In this scenario, I would assume that dad had been packing the baby and they could have easily gotten to a point where they decided the dog needed to be carried. I'm sure dad would be the one to do that so it's possible that mom took over carrying the baby. If so, now they're both over-exerting themselves- even more so than they already should have been. Eventually, dad sits down & places the dog beside him. The dog obviously isn't able to go anywhere at that point. Mom at some point soon thereafter recognizes the severity of the situation & decides to leave the baby by dad and go for help. Unfortunately it was too late as she had already been nearly overwhelmed with exertion herself.

    This is obviously very much just my own amateur opinion though.
     
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  4. katydid23

    katydid23 Well-Known Member

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    I think it sounds very possible. My theory is very close but I think the baby may have been the 1st to be in distress from heat. And they may have poured a lot of their water on her to try and cool her down, leaving less for them on their hot return hike....
     
  5. bpeterson912

    bpeterson912 Well-Known Member

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    The web page of the California Department of Water Resources should be an exhibit (circa 1994) in an Internet museum, but if you click this link and scroll down you can see the hourly temperature readings measured at a weather station at El Portal (EPW):
    • 08/15/2021 06:00 73 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 07:00 77 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 08:00 85 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 09:00 92 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 10:00 99 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 11:00 103 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 12:00 107 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 13:00 108 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 14:00 109 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 15:00 107 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 16:00 105 DEG F
    • 08/15/2021 17:00 101 DEG F

    It was 73 degrees--not 53 degrees--at 6 am, but otherwise the above lines up with the data shared by the poster a few pages ago. The El Portal weather station sits about two miles (by the crow's flight) from the Hites Cove trail at Devil's Gulch. If the measurements at the station are accurate, the temperature was above 100 degrees for approximately eight hours during the morning and afternoon of the 15th.
     
  6. SophieRose

    SophieRose Well-Known Member

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    California family found dead on trail had 'no obvious cause of death.' Could toxic algae be responsible?

    Indeed, Alan Wilson, a professor at the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences at Auburn University in Alabama, said that it's unusual for people to die from algal blooms. "There are reports, but they're usually kind of anecdotal reports," Wilson told Live Science. "I get more people calling me this time of year normally for pet or livestock deaths."

    Dogs tend to be more susceptible to the algal toxins, in part because they get into the water and then get out and lick their fur, potentially ingesting a high dose of toxins, he said. "Human exposure when swimming is fairly low, we don't ingest tons of water."

    In this case, if this family were to be exposed to such toxins, it would likely be from toxic algal mats and not blooms, he said. While algal blooms are not attached to anything, algal mats cling onto the bottom of water, such as on rocks.
     
  7. NSamuelle

    NSamuelle Well-Known Member

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    I’m fixated on the baby backpack photo, only because there are unknowns around it so it’s easy to dwell on:
    - was the baby IN the carrier?
    - why would it be posted at 6:45AM if they didn’t leave for their hike until at least 5 hours later (source: LE saying they left in “afternoon”)?
    - was there anything odd about the post (in frequency, content, context, etc.?). I guess we’ll never know this part.

    Other private photos appear to have been shared (they are on MSM but not on Jonathan or Ellen’s public accounts), so is there a reason not to share this photo?
     
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  8. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    This speaks volumes. Over 90 at 9AM and 103 by 11AM. BRUTAL! What I find astonishing is that they decided to continue the trek when temps hit 90+ with an infant and dog. Not being judgmental....I'm trying to understand.
     
  9. bpeterson912

    bpeterson912 Well-Known Member

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    First, it's important to note that we don't know when the family started their hike. As others have noted, at least one LE source suggested that the family started the hike in the afternoon. But sometimes LE can be imprecise (and/or misunderstood or misquoted by the media) in circumstances like this, so I remain open to the possibility that the family started their hike early in the morning--which would make more sense.

    To address your point, it's quite possible that the family decided not to continue their trek when temps hit 90+ around 9 a.m. They may have turned around at that point. But if they did start the hike early in the morning, they could have been hiking for 2 hours (much of which was downhill) by the time they realized that the temperature was reaching dangerous levels. Heat injury could have set in during their uphill trek back, as the temperature rapidly climbed to 107-109 degrees.
     
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  10. rahod1

    rahod1 Well-Known Member

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    True...so that begs the question>>> Did they have any idea of the forecast for that day? They lived nearby and had some notion of temps in the days prior. They certainly knew how long they would be out on the trail. If
    you have an infant on board (let alone the dog) that data becomes critical. Again...trying to understand.
     
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  11. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Forum Coordinator Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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