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What Killed This Family?

In August, a tragic and mysterious incident unfolded in the Sierra National Forest in California. The bodies of John Gerrish, his wife Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter Miju, and their dog Oski were discovered along a hiking trail, with no apparent evidence of a crime. This event has perplexed investigators and sparked various theories.


At first, investigators ruled out the involvement of nearby abandoned mine shafts and any signs of violence. The family’s water supply and water samples from the trail were tested, but no clear cause of death emerged. The FBI delved into the couple’s cell phone records and requested search warrants for their social media accounts, but the mystery persisted.

The family’s demise occurred in scorching temperatures, yet they showed no signs of heatstroke. The prevailing theory is that they were poisoned by toxic algae blooms in the Merced River. A warning about these blooms was issued in July, but people often disregard such advisories. While toxins from algae blooms can be harmful to animals, human fatalities from exposure to cyanobacterial toxins in recreational or drinking water are rare.

Tests are ongoing to confirm whether algae blooms were indeed the cause. If not, it leaves a void in understanding this tragedy. The possibility of more conventional explanations should be considered.


Some have drawn parallels to the work of David Paulides, who has documented enigmatic missing persons cases in national parks. While his theories encompass mysterious forces or entities, it’s essential to approach these cases with skepticism and seek rational explanations.

Various other theories, from “feral people” to UFOs and interdimensional creatures, have been suggested. However, it is important to note that homicide has been ruled out as the cause of death in this case.

As more information becomes available, the true cause of the Gerrish/Chung family’s deaths will hopefully be revealed. Until then, the mystery persists, and theories abound.

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