Chilling last texts from family stranded in mountains revealed

( A California family that died in August while hiking in the mountains during a heatwave reportedly tried to send a number of text messages and make several calls to their family members requesting help. The texts and calls, however, never went through.

On Thursday, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office released information from Jonathan Gerrish’s cellphone. The data was recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigations who worked for months to access the data on his phone. It showed that Gerrish had sent a text message that read, “Can you help us.”

Another text read, “No water or ver [over] heating with baby.”

The errors in the texts seem to indicate that Gerrish was even struggling to send the messages. Sadly, they were never successfully sent because the family was hiking in an area with poor cellphone service.

41-year-old Gerrish passed away along with his 31-year-old wife Ellen Chung, and their 1-year-old child Aurelia Chung-Gerrish. The family’s dog was also found dead alongside them on August 17 last year, right near the Merced River in the Sierra National Forest.

A report from authorities published late last year described how the family died as a result of extreme heat stroke. Temperatures in the region reached as high as 109 degrees Fahrenheit. They had run out of water and couldn’t find any shade to hide in, and were almost 2 miles away from their vehicle.

Next time you go hiking in the summer, make sure you have an emergency escape plan. Know where you are, carry enough water, and make sure there is shade.