A gorge northeast of the city of Mariposa where the bodies of an entire family were found
The bodies of two adults, a child and a dog were found on the trail in the gorge without any signs of violent death.
Authorities in California’s Mariposa County are investigating the mysterious death of a family on a hiking trail in Sierra National Park. At the moment, a version of the effect of poisonous algae is being considered, the portal reported. Live Science.
It is noted that John Gerrish, Ellen Chang, their one-year-old daughter Miju, and a dog named Oski were found dead on August 17 on a trail that runs along the Merced River in a remote part of the park.
No traces of violent death were found on the bodies of the victims.
“This is a very unusual, even unique situation. No injuries were found on the bodies of the victims, there is no obvious cause of their death. There was no suicide note. They were in the middle of the national forest park, where they went on a hike for one day,” said the sheriff’s representative Mariposa County Christie Mitchell.
Initially, investigators considered the version that the family could have died from poisonous gases from an abandoned mine, but Sheriff Jeremy Breeze threw it away, since the nearest known mine is located five kilometers from the scene.
He said that the possibility of the death of tourists due to toxic blue-green algae, the toxic substances of which can enter the body through the skin and through inhalation, is currently being studied.
The U.S. Forest Service recently posted a sign at the start of the trail about dangerous algae that sometimes cause animal death.
According to Alan Wilson, professor at the Auburn University School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, if the family was exposed to such toxins, it was most likely toxic algal mats, not water blooms.
Investigators hope that autopsies and toxicological tests will help them establish the cause of the family’s death.