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The Mariposa County sheriff’s department determined that a California family who died mysteriously while hiking near Yosemite in August died of “heat-related” issues.

Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, and their one-year-old daughter Miju died of "hyperthermia and probable dehydration due to the environmental exposure," Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese announced Thursday. Searchers found the family on Aug. 17 after they were missing for two days following a hike in the Sierra National Forest. The cause of death for the family's dog is still unknown, but based on the condition of his remains, they believe he was "also possibly suffering from heat-related issues."

"This is a tragic incident, a tragic situation, and has been a very unique case to investigate from the onset," Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese said at Thursday's press conference.

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Briese said they were the first hyperthermia deaths he had ever seen in 20 years of law enforcement in Mariposa County.

The family hiked over six miles in temperatures that approached 108 degrees, and they had only one empty 85-ounce water container with them when they were found, Briese said.

The family was reported missing after their nanny showed up for work on Aug. 16 only to find nobody was home, multiple outlets reported. On Aug. 17, search-and-rescue workers located the family's remains in a remote area of the Sierra National Forest near the Merced River, according to the sheriff’s office.

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The U.S. Forest Service announced in July that the river was infected with toxic algae, leading some to speculate that it may have caused the Gerrish family's deaths. Investigators also looked into toxic gases from abandoned mines and suicide but discovered no evidence for these theories.

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Tags: News, California, Crime, Family

Original Author: Virginia Aabram

Original Location: Cause of death for family that mysteriously died near Yosemite revealed

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/cause-death-family-mysteriously-died-151800618.html

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