Police say that poison algae might have taken the lives of a California family. Last Tuesday, in the Sierra National Forest, three bodies were found. John Gerrish, his wife Ellen Chung, and their one-year-old daughter Miju.
According to the officials, the nearby waterways of the place where the bodies have been found are under test. They are suspecting the poisonous algae blooms.
For establishing the reasons behind death, health officials conducted post-mortem examinations.
The family’s pet dog named Oski is also dead. His body was in the Devil’s Gulch area inside the forest, a famous spot for hiking.
Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese has said to the Fresno Bee newspaper that they do not know the cause, but they will rest only after they find out the reason for the deaths.
He added, “There’s no obvious indicators of how it occurred… you have two healthy adults, you have a healthy child and what appeared to be a healthy canine all within the same general area”
The investigating team has suspected that the cause of the death might have been because of the toxic gas coming out of the abandoned gold mines. However, on Thursday, it looked like that Mr. Briese has ruled out this possibility behind the death.
He said that the death has no relation with any gold mine. He also said that “It’s frustrating, and we’re not going to rest… it’s devastating to everyone.”
He also said that, from the things he gathered, the poison algae blooms might be the reason behind their death, and the algae blooms are the result of the recent drought, but he is still not aware of the toxicity in them.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, algae blooms can make perilous toxins that can kill or sicken animals and people. Park has informed the visitors not to swim or allow their pets into the waters.