August 18, 2021 at 5:52 am #193470
Family of 3 plus dog found dead in the Sierras
Officials declare Hazmat cause??August 18, 2021 at 6:41 am #193473
Yeah it does seem a little odd. Not sure how Carbon Monoxide or any other naturally occurring gas could have killed the whole family outside, plus their dog. If their bodies were torn up, I could see the authorities claiming it was done by predators post mortem. This is an interesting story worth following. Hopefully we’ll get better details in the days ahead.
Great find, @John BAugust 18, 2021 at 9:35 am #193474
@darrelb Theyp said that there were abandoned mines in the area, but there is no way carbon monoxide is going to seep out and kill people in fresh air. Also, there would be other dead animals in the area. They did not describe the condition of the bodies that were found. I’d imagine that animals would have at least partially eaten them too, if not, that makes this even more stranger. It’s kind of sounding more like a cattle mutilation type situation. I’d like more information as well.August 18, 2021 at 2:53 pm #193491Augustine LParticipant
I live in that general area. It’s somewhat volcanic and can seep carbon DIoxide. Which sinks and pushes out other gases. And if you enter a gully or valley that it sank into, then you quietly die of lack of oxygen.
It’s adjacent to Long Valley, which is a supervolcano area.
They were not missing for long, only a day or so and there is no obvious cause.
ANd the name of the actual area they died in? DEVIL GULCH.August 18, 2021 at 5:27 pm #193496Denise FParticipant
How the bodies were found (and location of bodies in respect to the others) would be the most interesting part.
I can’t see them all falling over at the same time…not even the dog attempted to leave to survive?
I see what Augustine is saying but it would have happened more often and surely warnings would be posted!?
I guess it could be a freak of nature but it sounds a bit fishy to me….but that’s nothing new 😉 lol.August 18, 2021 at 5:54 pm #193497Bob BParticipant
FWIW: If it’s a gas event, it is unlikely to be CO2….the likely gas would be H2S. Hydrogen sulfide is a naturally occurring byproduct of organic decomposition.
But still, no particulars on the condition of the bodies…hmmm.
And, if it were H2S, the danger would likely still be present; i.e. if the bodies were found in a low area, a depression, or in a cave or abandoned mine. Seems strange that the LEO explanation was a vague and generalized supposition without any specifics.August 18, 2021 at 7:02 pm #193502wolfheathenParticipant
Devil Gulch. yeah. There’s also a Devil House high point nearby and a Devil Peak to the south. I guess with the whole family dying, we’ll get very little further info anyway. Wonder if they’ll announce closure of that trail, if they’re serious about toxic fumes. Presumably either way, they’ll close the trail. Park page still shows Hite Cove Trail as open, though it appears that the Devil gulch area is down south of the main loop a ways along the creekbed.
Sad either way. damn.August 18, 2021 at 7:17 pm #193503wolfheathenParticipant
Interesting suggestion in the comments on the sheriff’s dept facebook post. A poster there alleging that illegal grow areas will sometimes be trip-wired with chemicals.August 19, 2021 at 6:41 am #193525August 19, 2021 at 6:45 am #193526
@Bob yeah toxicology would definitely confirm the chemical if it was H2S. I tend to doubt CO2 could displace enough O2 to kill a whole family and their dog, but stranger things happen. It would have to be a massive coincidence, and we all know that just doesn’t happen.August 19, 2021 at 6:06 pm #193564John AParticipant
I wonder if this isn’t the very rare event of a lightning strike? Nonetheless what a tragedy to lose an entire family. I feel bad for the family and friends.August 19, 2021 at 6:47 pm #193574James NParticipant
I was also thinking H2S @Bob – colorless, odorless (brief sulphur smell at the beginning but disappearing quickly IIRC from my oil/gas project training). 3 volcanoes are erupting at the same time in AK as well. Was there a fault that may have caused the volcanoes as well as some kind of gas release in CA. I know, very far apart in distance but just speculating.
Autopsy reports should help clear everything up. Whether any of that info is released is another story.August 19, 2021 at 7:28 pm #193582Augustine LParticipant
I would think this area unlikely for a marijuana grow due to its arid nature and the drought. The Merced River is there, but getting the water uphill to anywhere you could grow anything on that thin, rock soil would be a lot of trouble. Growers tend to choose areas more remote than this, too.
Hydrogen sulfide gas can be volcanic in origin, but it smells like sulfur. Nobody is going to camp where is smells like Hades. Although sulfuric acid smells and you would not camp there, it could seep out in the night, I suppose.
Carbon dioxide is odorless and seeps out of vents. It pools in low spots. You just faint. You can breathe, but it doesn’t do you any good because no O2. Village See also Wiki Mammoth Mountain entry.
It’s possible it could be CO2, but I don’t know if there are really any seeps or fumroles around that part of Mariposa County.
Lightning will leave signs, it’s not going to be a mystery. And the gulch is a low point, not a high point lightning will be attracted to.
SO, IDK.August 19, 2021 at 8:54 pm #193588KnobbyModerator
I heard on the radio, KCBS, that they may have died due to a toxic algae bloom.August 20, 2021 at 8:37 am #193609
Yeah Toxic Algae bloom… No signs of other dead animals though, besides the dog? Something is fishy, and it’s not dead fish from the toxic algae.
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