A California sheriff has revealed a British Snapchat engineer, his wife and daughter died of hypothermia and probable dehydration while on a hike - ending a mystery that had puzzled people for months.
Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese held a news conference on Thursday to discuss the mysterious deaths of John Gerrish, his wife, Ellen Chung, their 1-year-old daughter, Miju, and their dog.
The Northern California family went hiking on a remote trail close to the Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, where they were found dead August 17 after a family friend reported them missing.
The family were found 1.6 miles from their vehicle.
There was one 85 ounce Camelbak bladder for water with them, which was empty. There were no other water containers with them, Briese said.
Jeremy Briese of Mariposa County Sheriff's Office held a press conference on Thursday to reveal the cause of death of the family, after months of speculation
Briese showed footage (right) of the 'rugged terrain' where the family were found
The Northern California family went hiking on a remote trail close to the Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, where they were found dead August 17
The bodies of the family of three and their pet were found on the Savage Lundy Trail, 1.5 miles from their parked truck
Briese said that dehydration can cause dizziness and ultimately death.
'Our message to the hiking community is please take into account aquifers as well as geographics,' he said.
'Prepare appropriately. The community is resilient, the community is safe, but this is an unfortunate and tragic event due to the weather.'
Mariposa County Sheriff's investigators have worked with toxicologists, environmental specialists, the FBI and other experts.
They had already already ruled out the causes being related to a gun or any other weapon, extreme heat, a lightning strike, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, cyanide exposure, illegal drugs, alcohol or suicide.
Briese said there were 'no apparent causes of death' when the family was found.
He said the area was known to have mines, and police were concerned about possible environmental hazards.
Toxic algae blooms were