Missing family found dead in the southfork of the Merced River drainage, authorities said

The Mariposa sheriff’s department says they have located a family that was reported missing.

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office began a Search and Rescue operation after a family was reported missing on August 16th at approximately 11 pm.

Search teams located the family’s vehicle near the Sierra National Forest gate leading to Hites Cove in the Jerseydale area.

A short time later the family; John Gerrish, Ellen Chung, 1-year-old daughter Miju, and the family dog were located deceased near the Devil’s Gulch area in the Southfork of the Merced River drainage.

Sheriff personnel with the assistance of the California Department of Justice are conducting the investigation and processing the area.

Authorities say the scene currently does not indicate a clear picture of what occurred or a clear cause of death, the scene is currently being handled as a hazmat and coroner investigation.

“This is never the outcome we want or the news we want to deliver, my heart breaks for their family. Our Sheriff’s Chaplains and staff are working with their family and will continue to support them during this heartbreaking time.” Sheriff Jeremy Briese said.

Additional details will be released as the investigation progresses.

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