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Sheriff says family on California hike died of extreme heat

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Posted at 7:13 AM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 10:13:49-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California sheriff says a family and their dog died of extreme heat exhaustion while hiking in a remote area in August.

Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese said Thursday that Jonathan Gerrish, his wife, Ellen Chung, their 1-year-old daughter, Miju, and their dog were walking in extreme heat before they died.

Briese says their water container was empty. The family went hiking on a trail close to the Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, where they were found dead Aug. 17 after a family friend reported them missing.

The case had baffled authorities.