Toxic algae bloom considered in death of California family

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Investigators are considering whether toxic algae blooms or other hazards may have contributed to the deaths of a California couple, their baby and the family dog on a remote hiking trail. The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office had treated the area in the Sierra National Forest as a hazmat site after concerns were raised about the deaths being linked to potentially toxic gases from old mines nearby. But the hazmat declaration was lifted Wednesday, and the sheriff now says he doesn’t believe the mines were a factor. Search teams found the bodies Tuesday. The family has been identified as John Gerrish, Ellen Chung and their 1-year-old daughter, Miju.

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