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Water Samples Tested Following Mariposa Family’s Death

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Mariposa, CA — Uncertainty still surrounds what led to the death of a husband and wife, their one-year-old daughter, and the family dog, near the Sierra National Forest in Mariposa County.

They were located this week deceased near the Devil’s Gulch area in the Southfork of the Merced River drainage. The couple, John Gerrish and Ellen Chung, had recently purchased a home in the county. The Mariposa County sheriff’s office confirms that there were no signs of trauma and no suicide note. Officials are still awaiting an autopsy report from the medical examiner.

Mariposa County Health Officer, Dr. Eric Sergienko adds, “From an Environmental Health standpoint I can say that we worked with the California Water Board and their surface water monitoring project to collect environmental samples from the water supply that the hikers were using to test for toxins.”

The State Water Resources Control Board confirms that it is testing the waterways for any potential toxic algae blooms. More information is expected to be known soon.

The California Department of Justice is also involved in the investigation.