A British Snapchat engineer who was found dead with his wife, baby and dog on a remote California hiking trail may have ‘been struck by lightning’.
Their deaths are now being investigated over a possible lightning strike being the cause.
Jonathan Gerrish, 45, his wife, Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter, Muji and the family’s dog, Oski, were found dead in the Sierra National Forest, California, on August 17.
Following the autopsy results, investigators have confirmed the family were not killed by gases from a nearby mine, or with any kind of weapons.
Another theory is that the family died after coming in contact with toxic algae after water samples taken from the nearby river tested positive. Following the positive tests, authorities closed 28 miles of waterway between the towns of Briceburg and Bagby.
Investigators are still awaiting the results from the family’s toxicology reports in order to rule out the theory.
However, according to a New York Times article, their attention has turned to a possible lighting strike as the cause of death.
The bodies of the family showed no visible signs of trauma, leading to investigators’ theory of a lightning strike as most incidents cause injury to the nervous system with deaths caused by going into cardiac arrest.
In a statement last week, Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese said: “We know the family and friends of John and Ellen are desperate for answers, our team of Detectives are working round the clock.
“Cases like this require us to be methodical and thorough while also reaching out to every resource we can find to help us bring those answers to them as quickly as we can.”
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