‘Unknown Hazards’ at Hiking Trail Where California Family Was Found Dead Closed to the Public
The Sierra national forest has closed the hiking trails near where a California family and their dog were found dead last month.
According to The Guardian, officials announced that Sierra national forest would be closing its trails, picnic sites, and campgrounds for the public for almost a month.
'Unknown Hazards' in California Hiking Trail
Officials pointed the closure to "unknown hazards" found in and the surroundings of the Savage Lundy trail. The closure was connected to the investigation currently conducted by officials who were still determining the cause of death of the California family.
The California couple, 45-year-old John Gerrish, his wife, 30-year-old Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter, and their dog named Muji were found dead on the Mariposa county hiking trail.
On August 17, officials found the bodies of the California family, who were reported missing by their family friend after they had reportedly gone out for a hike.
Based on the investigation, search crews that had examined the area located the family's vehicle close to a gate to the Sierra national forest. During their search, they found the bodies of the family members and the dog just a little over a mile away in a hiking trail, which is a remote area that had no cellphone service.
After not having the specific cause of death, the Mariposa County Sheriff's office briefly treated the area as a hazmat site. Investigators initially explored the site to find whether the family was exposed to carbon monoxide, gas from mines in the area, or toxic algae that could have been responsible for the deaths.
California Family Dies on Hiking Trail
Before the tragic incident, officials had warned hikers about the harmful algae blooms along the south fork of the Merced River. Based on the San Francisco Chronicle report, the result of the water test conducted in the area showed that the place was positive for toxic algae. The state water board and independent labs also tested the water that the family brought during their hike.
The site's closure, which is in effect until September 26, came a day before the U.S. Forest Service announced the closing of all of California's national forests through September 17 due to the wildfire crisis happening in the state of California, CBS News reported.
Last week, the sheriff's office announced that it had ruled out guns or any other types of weapons and any chemical hazards along the trail as causes of death. Autopsies on the family have been completed, but officials are still waiting for the toxicology results.
The county sheriff, Jeremy Briese, said the family and friends of John and Ellen were desperate for answers, and their team of detectives is working round the clock to solve the case.
A family friend, Sidney Radanovich, a Mariposa real estate agent, noted that Gerrish, a San Francisco-based software designer, fell in love with the Mariposa area.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Jess Smith
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