Final message reveals hiking family’s desperate plea for help before they died with their dog

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By VT

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The very last text message and several attempted phone calls ended up being one family's final desperate plea for help, per the Independent.

Ultimately, the family - a mother, father, their baby, and their dog ended up mysteriously dying in California's Sierra National Forest during a hiking trip last year.

Father Jonathan Gerrish, mother Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter, Miju, and their pet, Oski, were found dead last year in August near the Merced River south of Yosemite National Park.

According to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, a text message supported the official cause of death — hyperthermia and possible dehydration amid extremely high temperatures, per The Fresno Bee.

At the time, authorities also emphasized the potential impact of toxic algae in a nearby stream - however, they eventually ruled that out as a cause of death.

“Can you help us,” the text message begins, with the recipient's name redacted by authorities. “On savage lundy trail heading back to Hites cove trail. No water or ver (over) heating with baby.”

The message never went out due to the lack of cellphone service in the remote forest area.

There were also several attempted phone calls to multiple numbers in just 25 minutes the day the family died. However, none of the calls was to emergency services. The mother and father also took a screenshot of their location from a trail app.

Investigators used the data from the phone to re-create the path and timeline of the family's hike based on their GPS locations.

Multiple sightseeing photos taken that day documented the family's hike before they found themselves in desperate need for help just a couple of hours after their hike began, police said.

The material released by authorities at a press conference on Thursday marked the end of an investigation into the tragic deaths that initially had investigators bewildered.

Last year, a family friend by the name of Sidney Radanovich described the couple as keen hikers.

“They were such a loving couple,” Radanovich told the San Francisco Chronicle. He said Gerrish, a San Francisco-based software designer, adored showing Miju “all sorts of things and explain them to her.”

Featured image credit: Markus Thomenius / Alamy

Final message reveals hiking family’s desperate plea for help before they died with their dog

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

The very last text message and several attempted phone calls ended up being one family's final desperate plea for help, per the Independent.

Ultimately, the family - a mother, father, their baby, and their dog ended up mysteriously dying in California's Sierra National Forest during a hiking trip last year.

Father Jonathan Gerrish, mother Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter, Miju, and their pet, Oski, were found dead last year in August near the Merced River south of Yosemite National Park.

According to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, a text message supported the official cause of death — hyperthermia and possible dehydration amid extremely high temperatures, per The Fresno Bee.

At the time, authorities also emphasized the potential impact of toxic algae in a nearby stream - however, they eventually ruled that out as a cause of death.

“Can you help us,” the text message begins, with the recipient's name redacted by authorities. “On savage lundy trail heading back to Hites cove trail. No water or ver (over) heating with baby.”

The message never went out due to the lack of cellphone service in the remote forest area.

There were also several attempted phone calls to multiple numbers in just 25 minutes the day the family died. However, none of the calls was to emergency services. The mother and father also took a screenshot of their location from a trail app.

Investigators used the data from the phone to re-create the path and timeline of the family's hike based on their GPS locations.

Multiple sightseeing photos taken that day documented the family's hike before they found themselves in desperate need for help just a couple of hours after their hike began, police said.

The material released by authorities at a press conference on Thursday marked the end of an investigation into the tragic deaths that initially had investigators bewildered.

Last year, a family friend by the name of Sidney Radanovich described the couple as keen hikers.

“They were such a loving couple,” Radanovich told the San Francisco Chronicle. He said Gerrish, a San Francisco-based software designer, adored showing Miju “all sorts of things and explain them to her.”

Featured image credit: Markus Thomenius / Alamy