Cops rule out lightning as cause of death of tech engineer and family

Snapchat engineer, sy vrou, baby and dog were NOT killed by lightning on California hiking trail, say cops as they await ‘keytoxicology results in mystery deaths

  • More than six weeks later, authorities still don’t know what killed Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, daughter Muji and their dog on hiking trail
  • Sheriff’s office has ruled out gun or any other type of weapon; lightning strike; carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide; cyanide; drugs/alcohol, and suicide
  • Few ‘keytoxicology results are still pending, but there is no timeline for them
  • Family of three and pet were found dead in Sierra National Forest on August 17
  • A 28-mile stretch of the River Merced in California was closed in early September after water samples revealed the presence of toxic algae
  • Authorities in Kalifornië have ruled out a freak lightning strike and cyanide exposure as possible causes of death of a British Snapchat engineer and his family, but more than six weeks later they appear to be no closer to finding out what killed the young parents, their baby daughter and pet dog on a remote hiking trail.

    Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese said in an emailed statement on Thursday that many toxicology reports have been completed as part of the ongoing investigation into the August 17 deaths of Jonathan Gerrish, sy vrou, Ellen Chung, daughter Muji and their family dog, but a few ‘keyresults were still pending.

    Briese did not specify the exact nature of the outstanding toxicology results and said he does not know when they would come in.

    More than six weeks later, authorities still don't know what killed Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, daughter Muji and their dog on a California hiking trail, but they now know it was not any kind of weapon, cyanide, suicide or lightning strike

    More than six weeks later, authorities still don’t know what killed Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, daughter Muji and their dog on a California hiking trail, but they now know it was not any kind of weapon, cyanide, suicide or lightning strike

    The family's pet dog, Oski, was found dog alongside its owners on August 17

    The family’s pet dog, Oski, was found dog alongside its owners on August 17

    Based on evidence recovered at the scene in Sierra National Forest, or through the investigation, the sheriff’s office so far has ruled out more than a half-dozen potential causes of death, including gun or any other type of weapon; lightning strike; carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide; cyanide; illegal drugs or alcohol, and suicide.

    RULED OUT CAUSES OF DEATH:

    • Gun or any other type of weapon
    • Lightning Strike
    • Carbon Monoxide
    • Carbon Dioxide
    • Cyanide Exposure
    • Illegal Drugs / Alkohol
    • Suicide
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    ‘We respect and understand the need for information and details regarding this case,’ Briese stated. ‘Our current priorities remain supporting and informing the Gerrish / Chung family during this tragic time. As we navigate through this investigation with the family, we will later share our findings with the public.

    Sheriff’s detectives are said to be working closely with a toxicologist, an environmental specialist and the FBI to determine what happened to the family.

    Toxic algae blooms were discovered around 12 miles downstream from where Gerrish and his family were discovered dead, prompting the Bureau of Land Management earlier this month to close hiking trails and campgrounds along a stretch of the Merced River to the public.

    After water samples from the river tested positive for toxic algae, authorities closed 28 miles of the waterway between the towns of Briceburg and Bagby.

    BLM spokesperson Elizabeth Meyer-Shields said of the algae discovery: ‘These algal blooms can produce toxins that can make people and pets extremely sick.

    The bodies of the family of three and their pet were found on the Savage Lundy Trail, 1.5 miles from their parked truck

    The bodies of the family of three and their pet were found on the Savage Lundy Trail, 1.5 miles from their parked truck

    The Sierra National Forest in California closed more than a dozen trails, campgrounds and picnic areas, citing 'unknown hazards'

    The Sierra National Forest in California closed more than a dozen trails, campgrounds and picnic areas, citing ‘unknown hazards

    ‘We will continue to monitor for the algae’s presence and look forward to when the public can safely recreate in the Merced River.

    At around 7.45am on August 15, a witness saw Gerrish and Chung heading to the Savage Lundy Trail in their truck.

    Twee dae later, the parents, their one-year-old daughter and their dog, Oski, were discovered by on the trail by search and rescue teams.

    Investigators previously revealed that Gerrish was researching the Hites Cove hike on a phone app the day before the family set off on their doomed journey.

    Detectives believe they managed most of a challenging 8.5-mile loop, wat ingesluit het 5 miles along a steep slope with little shade as temperatures reached 109 grade, before they died on the hiking trail, oor 1.5 miles away from their truck, which was parked at the Hites Cove trailhead.

    A missing person’s report was made at 11pm on August 16 and a Mariposa County sheriff’s deputy discovered their truck at the end of Hites Cove Road at the trailhead around three hours later.

    Search teams were deployed on the steep trails and the family were found along the switchbacks leading back to their trucks at 11am on August 17.

    Gerrish was a software developer for Snapchat and had previously worked for Google. He graduated from Newcastle University

    His American wife, Ellen Chung, was studying psychology and the couple were very active

    Gerrish was a software developer for Snapchat and had previously worked for Google. He graduated from Newcastle University. His American wife, Ellen Chung, was studying psychology and the couple were very active

    There were few clues for detectives at the scene and no signs of foul play, such as trauma, het die polisie gesê.

    No significant evidence was found in searches of the family home and vehicles, het die balju se kantoor gesê.

    Gerrish was a software developer for Snapchat and had previously worked for Google. He graduated from Newcastle University.

    His American wife was studying psychology and the couple were very active and often spent time outdoors or traveling.

    WAT IS DIE RISIKO'S VAN ALGAE -BLOEME??

    Sianobakterieë, ook bekend as blougroen alge, is 'n antieke klas organismes wat die blomme skep, is bykans oral waar water voorkom, maar floreer in warm, steeds liggame soos mere en damme.

    Dit bevat spesies wat van die kragtigste gifstowwe wat die mens ken, produseer, en die impak daarvan op mense word slegs gedeeltelik verstaan.

    Die voorkoms van varswater skadelike algbloeisels (FHAB's) het die afgelope jare toegeneem, sommige wetenskaplikes skryf die toename toe aan klimaatsverandering.

    Wat is die gesondheidsrisiko's?

    Alge kan verskillende gifstowwe produseer. Mense word blootgestel aan hierdie gifstowwe deur kontak met die vel (bv. wanneer jy swem), deur inaseming (bv. as motorvaart of waterski), of deur besmette water te sluk.

    Hierdie gifstowwe kan veluitslag veroorsaak, naarheid, braking, maagpyn, koors en hoofpyn.

    Soms, die gifstowwe kan ernstiger siektes veroorsaak, soos lewer- en breinskade.

    Kinders loop 'n groter risiko as volwassenes om probleme te ontwikkel as gevolg van hul laer liggaamsgewig.

    Die departement van openbare gesondheid in Kalifornië sê dat dit nie bekend is dat mense sterf as gevolg van blootstelling aan ontspanning of drinkwater aan sianobakteriese toksien nie’ alhoewel sommige diere deur alge doodgemaak is.

    Hoe kan die gesondheidsrisiko's tot die minimum beperk word??

    Nie alle blougroen blomme en skuim is giftig nie, maar dit is nie moontlik om te sien aan die voorkoms nie, en daarom is dit die beste om aan te neem dat dit skadelik is en die volgende voorsorgmaatreëls te tref:

    • Moenie in die water swem nie
    • Moenie die water insluk nie
    • Vermy kontak met die alge
    • Moenie vis wat uit die water gevang word, eet nie
    • Let op en hou by enige waarskuwingskennisgewings rondom die water

    Almal wat in aanraking gekom het met water wat alge bevat, moet onmiddellik met vars water stort.

    Almal wat in aanraking gekom het met aangetaste water en siek geword het, moet mediese hulp verkry.

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