John Gerrish, 45, his wife, Ellen Chung, 30, and their one-year-old daughter, Miju, hiked a secluded trail in California in August after a family friend reported them missing, LancsLive reports.
The family was found just 2.5 miles from their car in temperatures of up to 40 ° C in the central California region.
They were found with an 85-ounce Camelbak bladder for water, which had been emptied and had no other water source with them.
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Investigators probed for theories, including the possibility that the family was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, or by contact with toxic algae or “abnormal lightning strike.”
Jeremy Briese of the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office has now said dehydration can cause dizziness and ultimately death.
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Their eight-year-old dog, Oski, also suffered a heat-related death.
Mr. Briese said: “For Mariposa County, this is rare. It is the number one cause of hyperthermia death that I have witnessed here in 20 years.
“Our message to the hiking community is to consider aquifers as well as geography.
“Prepare yourself appropriately. The community is resilient, the community is safe, but this is an unfortunate and tragic event due to the weather. “
Google engineer John was originally from Lancaster and had family in Bamber Bridge.
At a press conference Thursday, Mariposa’s public information official released a statement from the family which read: “The loss of the family is a pain beyond words.
“When this pain is compacted by the lack of knowledge about their death, the questions of where, why, when and how fill the void, day and night.
“Some questions have been answered, and we’ll use that to help us come to terms with that.
“They will stay with us wherever we go, or whatever we do.
“In the future, when we sit under the trees, hearing the wind blow up under the branches, we will think of them and remember.
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