A British man and his entire family including their dog have been found dead in mysterious circumstances on a US hiking trail.
Google engineer Jonathan Gerrish, 45, his wife Ellen Chung, 31, and their one-year-old daughter, Muji, were all discovered by rescue teams on Tuesday.
Their lifeless bodies were found near an area known as Devil’s Gulch in the Southfork of the Merced River, northern California.
A spokesperson for the local sheriff’s office confirmed the family of three and their pet were found out on a hiking trail, not in a tent.
Because of mines in the area and as there is no clear indication of the cause of death, the scene is being treated as a hazmat scene for the safety of everyone responding, said Deputy Kristie Mitchell.
“Coming across a scene where everyone involved, including the family dog that is deceased, that is not a typical thing that we have seen or other agencies have seen,” she said.
The officer could not rule out carbon monoxide as the cause of death.
“That is why we’re treating it as a hazmat situation. We just don’t know,” she added.
“That’s one of many the explanation why we’re treating it as a hazmat state of affairs.”