Authorities in the state of California (USA) are conducting investigations into the inexplicable death of a couple, their baby and their dog on a remote hiking trail in the Sierra National Forest, located in Mariposa County.
John Gerrish and his wife, Ellen Chung, along with their one-year-old daughter, Muji, and their pet, were found dead after being reported missing Monday night by one of their friends, the Sheriff’s Office reported. county.
So far, researchers have found “no clear cause of death.” The “scene is currently being handled as a forensic and hazmat investigation“, reported the sheriff’s office in a statement released through social media.
Search teams on Tuesday found the family’s vehicle near an entrance to the forest, and located their bodies just over a mile away, in an area without cell phone service.
The cause of the family’s death is still unclear. Researchers they continue to inquire if any toxic substance, such as carbon monoxide, exposure to mine gas in the area, or poisonous algae could cause the tragedy.
The area is being treated as a hazardous materials site, Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kristie Mitchell announced at describe the scene as “very unusual”, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. “There are no signs of trauma, no obvious cause of death. There was no suicide note. They were in the middle of a national forest, on a day’s hike,” he added.
The Hite Cove Trail is known for showing hikers stunning fields of wildflowers. It’s also remote enough that most of them are left without cell service along the way.