Family of 3, pet dog found dead in remote area of Sierra National Forest


Photo Courtesy: Rosanna Heaslett

MARIPOSA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A family reported missing in Mariposa County late Monday was found dead on a hiking trail in a remote area of the Sierra National Forest, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

John Gerrish, Ellen Chung, 1-year-old daughter Muji, and the family dog were located dead near the Devil’s Gulch area in the Southfork of the Merced River drainage, according to a statement released by deputies on Tuesday.

The family’s vehicle was found nearby. A family friend reported them missing on Monday.

“This is never the outcome we want or the news we want to deliver, my heart breaks for their family. Our Sheriff’s Chaplains and staff are working with their family and will continue to support them during this heartbreaking time,” said Sheriff Jeremy Briese.

An investigation to determine the cause of the family’s death is underway. Deputies add that the incident scene is being handled as a HAZMAT and coroner investigation, and that there was no clear cause of death.

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