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#299850 - 08/30/21 02:02 AM Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail
jshannon Offline
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Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 614
Loc: North Texas
Have any of you been following this story? At first, before paying attention to the details, I wondered about familicide.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Not-one-clue-The-mystery-is-only-deepening-16401921.php

After reading the article and looking at a topo map, I came to this conclusion...

These are heat-related deaths until proven otherwise. They went on a 7+ mile dayhike with a 1 year old who may have been the first to begin showing signs of heat stress. They may have known of the algae issue (trailhead signs, online/tv news, since they were locals) and only took/used their own water causing further problems if they underestimated how much was needed for a family of four (3 humans, 1 dog) in those conditions. Once down at the river there is a 3.3 mile 2,500 ft climb back up. The temps were up to 109 F. There is said to be not much shade after the 2018 fire. They had little remaining water when found only halfway up the climb. Toxicology is pending.

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#299852 - 08/30/21 10:02 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
Ren Online   content
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Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 427
Loc: Wales, UK
The dog is a bit of puzzle. Assume it was on a leash, otherwise would have thought it'd take care of itself.

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#299853 - 08/30/21 10:39 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
Phaedrus Offline
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Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2993
Loc: Big Sky Country
Weird! I hope they crack the case.
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#299932 - 09/06/21 11:29 PM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
Doug_Ritter Offline

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#299933 - 09/07/21 12:14 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
Ren Online   content
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Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 427
Loc: Wales, UK
Nothing new pertinent to their deaths, but the husband was a Brit.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...amily-dead.html

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#299934 - 09/07/21 12:29 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
Phaedrus Offline
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Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2993
Loc: Big Sky Country
If it was toxic algae I'm still not sure why the baby would die? Babies don't drink water do they? [Note: Obviously I'm not a parent so far as I know!].
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#299935 - 09/07/21 01:11 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
jshannon Offline
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Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 614
Loc: North Texas
One water sample was positive for cyanotoxins downstream of where they were found. Other samples were negative. Gases and blunt trauma were ruled out. One article yesterday said they were again looking at lightning. It may not be easy to prove a cyanotoxin death of a human. It would be the first in the US.

Right after the bodies were found, on a water quality site, they outright listed the deaths as suspected water toxin. Three days later they changed it to suspected "illness" with no physical proof of either.

The heat index that day was up to 111 F and the wet bulb globe temp 89 F. When people are compelled to hike with toddlers in those conditions and they can't use or drink (because of toxin scare) any of the natural waters, what do you think will eventually happen? Heat related deaths happen every year in Grand Canyon and Death Valley.


Edited by jshannon (09/07/21 01:16 AM)

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#299936 - 09/07/21 01:22 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
jshannon Offline
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Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 614
Loc: North Texas
Phaedrus, the one thing I can think of is if the parents were sick with the toxin and it slowed them down..then the heat took over. Personally, with all of the "signage" about the bad water, I'd be surprised if the parents had any water toxin in their bodies, but we shall see.

I think most of them would be alive if they had gone back down to the water and stayed in it and near it until found or hiked out at night.


Edited by jshannon (09/07/21 01:28 AM)

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#299937 - 09/07/21 01:33 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2993
Loc: Big Sky Country
Yeah, that could be. But if they died of dehydration or heat stroke you'd think a coroner would have no trouble recognizing that. And would the dog succumb as quickly as a human?
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#299939 - 09/07/21 03:12 AM Re: Gerrish-Chung Family death on Savage-Lundy trail [Re: jshannon]
jshannon Offline
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Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 614
Loc: North Texas
"Making a diagnosis of a heat-related death may be quite difficult at autopsy as commonly found features such as skin slippage, pleural petechiae, and pulmonary and cerebral edema are entirely nonspecific [7]. Only very rarely will a core temperature of a body proximate to the time of death be available, and heat often accelerates decomposition which further complicates post mortem assessment [8]."

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12024-013-9413-y

There was possibly up to 1.5 days of decomposition. My wonderings about the dog was that he was on a leash and possibly may not leave their sides as he knew something was wrong with the infant and adults..best I can come up with.



Edited by jshannon (09/07/21 03:15 AM)

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