Gay hiking

Officials say they are ready to announce what killed a family hiking in Mariposa County

Mariposa County investigators will unravel the mystery of a family and their dog dying together on a remote hiking trail when they announce their causes of death Thursday.

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that it will hold a press conference “regarding the cause of death and the final update on the investigation into the Gerrish/Chung case.”

“No interviews or information will be given prior to the conference,” the sheriff’s office said in a brief announcement. The sheriff will announce the findings Thursday at 2 p.m.

Jonathan Gerrish, 45, Ellen Chung, 31, their one-year-old daughter Miju and their dog Oski, were found dead on the Hites Cove trail on August 16. For two months, investigators tried to determine what could have killed all of them in a case that has baffled law enforcement and observers.

Investigators believe the family died on a steep bend about 1.5 miles below where she parked her vehicle after completing most of the loop route. In the weeks following their deaths, investigators ruled out a number of possible causes of death, such as a lightning strike, mine fumes, suicide, illegal drugs and other signs of foul play.

Authorities said the family hiked during extreme heat and water sources along the trail tested positive for toxic algae blooms.

Matthias Gafni is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @mgafni