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Cause of deaths of California family on hike remains mystery

The bodies of John Gerrish, his wife, Ellen Chung, their 1-year-old daughter and their dog were found Aug. 17 on a trail near the Merced River.
Credit: AP
FILE - This Aug. 18, 2021, file photo shows a remote canyon area northeast of the town of Mariposa, Calif., that is reported to be the area where a family and their dog were found dead. The mysterious deaths of a Northern California family and their dog more than a month ago prompted authorities Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, to say they have ruled out several causes of death but still don't know what happened to the family found dead in a remote hiking area. (Craig Kohlruss/The Fresno Bee via AP, File)

MARIPOSA, Calif. — Authorities say they are still investigating the mysterious deaths of a Northern California family and their dog who were found in a remote hiking area. 

The bodies of John Gerrish, his wife, Ellen Chung, their 1-year-old daughter and their dog were found Aug. 17 on a trail near the Merced River, after a family friend reported them missing. 

The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Thursday that the cause of death was still unknown but they have ruled out death by gun or other weapon, lightning, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, cyanide, illegal drugs, alcohol or suicide.

"Detectives are working closely with toxicologist, environmental specialist, the FBI and other specialists," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post.

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