Unknown dangers' found on a trail in the Sierra National Forest near where a dead California family was found

Unknown dangers' found on a trail in the Sierra National Forest near where a dead California family was found
Unknown dangers' found on a trail in the Sierra National Forest near where a dead California family was found
Anonim

Authorities have closed a trail in the Sierra National Forest west of Yosemite, near where the Northern California family and their dog were found dead. Representatives of the Sierra National Forest on Saturday announced the closure of the Merced River recreation site "due to unknown hazards found on and around the Savage Landy trail."

The trail will be closed until September 26, or will open earlier, "if conditions around change."

John Gerrish, 45, Ellen Chang, 30, and their one-year-old daughter Miju, and their family dog, Oski, were found dead on Aug. 17 in the Devil's Gulch area at the southern fork of the Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, the Mariposa County Sheriff's office said. The servicemen who arrived at the scene reacted to the situation as dangerous, since the cause of death was unclear.

Previous autopsy records provided by the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office ruled out chemical hazards on the Savage Landy trail and acute injuries such as stab, gunshot, or blunt force trauma.

So this latest closure - which happened just days before all of California's national forests were closed due to the Kaldor fire - adds an additional circumstance to their mysterious death. There is a possibility that a hazard was discovered near the trail, but not on it, which posed a risk to the family.

The results of toxicology studies are expected in the coming weeks, and last week investigators requested access to Chang and Gerrish's cell phones and their social media accounts.

Water samples from the scene and from the family's backpacks were sent early last week to the California State Board of Water Resources and independent laboratories, the sheriff's office said.

The family's Sunday hike was conceived as a one-day trip, which caused anxiety among numerous friends when the family did not return home.

The California Department of Justice and sheriff's office staff are investigating the circumstances of the death, which are viewed as an investigation involving experts and coroners.

"We know John and Ellen's family and friends are in desperate need of answers, our detective team is on hand around the clock," Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Breeze said in a statement last week.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Christy Mitchell described the deaths as “a very unusual, unique situation"And stated that" no apparent cause of death was found. However, there are concerns that this area could be dangerous."

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