Toxic Algae Bloom Considered In Death Of Family In Mariposa County

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August 19, 2021 astatine 3:32 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Investigators are considering whether toxic algae blooms oregon different hazards whitethorn person contributed to the deaths of a Northern California couple, their babe and the household canine connected a distant hiking trail, authorities said.

The country successful the Sierra National Forest wherever the bodies were recovered connected Tuesday had been treated arsenic a hazmat tract aft concerns were raised astir the deaths being linked to perchance toxic gases from aged mines nearby.

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But the hazmat declaration was lifted Wednesday, and Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese said helium didn’t judge the mines were a factor, the Sacramento Bee reported Thursday.

“This is simply a precise unusual, unsocial situation,” said Kristie Mitchell, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. “There were nary signs of trauma, nary evident origin of death. There was nary termination note.”

John Gerrish, his wife, Ellen Chung, their 1-year-old daughter, Muji, and their canine were each recovered dormant connected a hiking way adjacent Hite’s Cove successful the Sierra National Forest. A household person had reported them missing Monday evening.

The country astir Hite’s Cove was the tract of a hard stone golden mining cognition successful the mid-19th century.

The bodies were transported to the coroner’s bureau successful Mariposa for autopsies and toxicology exams, Mitchell said.

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The mates were known to beryllium avid hikers. Their friend, Mariposa existent property cause Sidney Radanovich, said Gerrish was a San Francisco-based bundle decorator who, with his wife, “fell successful emotion with the Mariposa area” and bought respective homes there, a residence for themselves and rental investments.

“They were specified a loving couple. They loved each different rather a bit,” Radanovich told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He loved showing the babe each sorts of things and explaining them to her.”

The sheriff’s bureau was investigating the deaths on with the California Department of Justice.

Sheriff Jeremy Briese said chaplains and unit were counseling household members.

“My bosom breaks for their family,” helium said.

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The distant country wherever the bodies were recovered had nary cellphone service, Mitchell said. The hiking way ran done an country of wood known peculiarly successful springtime to person spectacular wildflower displays.

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