Authorities Identify Three Bodies Belonging to Missing California Family

17 April, 2018, 10:53 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Body Discovered Near Site of California Cliff Crash That Killed Family

The body of Siddhant Thottapilly was found at about 4 p.m. submerged in the Eel River about 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) downstream from where the family auto reportedly crashed, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Capt. Gregory L. Van Patten said in a statement.

The family was on a road trip to Portland, Oregon and coming back to their home in California, when they went missing.

Authorities searching for a family whose SUV plunged into a rain-swollen Northern California river have found the vehicle and the body of a man and a girl inside it.

Search crews on Sunday found the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and Saachi Thottapilly, 9, inside an SUV that was pulled from the Eel River in Leggett, Calif.

Another search operation is expected Monday in and around Eel River in an attempt to find 12-year-old Siddhant who is still missing. A poster shared by friends and relatives on social media suggested that the SUV matched the Thottapilly family's vehicle.

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The family was reported missing on April 8, when relatives said the four were supposed to visit them in San Jose.

A tow truck was used to partially remove the vehicle from the river around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, and searchers were then able to remove two members of the Thottapilly family: father Sandeep, 41, and his daughter Saachi, 9. The family was last heard from in the town of Klamath, Del Norte County, on April 5.

In a statement on the rescue efforts, California's Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said, "At approximately 11:30 AM a boating team noticed a gasoline smell emitting from the water approximately 1/2 mile north of the reported crash site (downstream)". But the Thottapillys never made it to San Jose and were later reported missing, police said.

The Thottapilly family was driving a maroon Honda Pilot with California plate 7MMX138. Their disappearance coincided with reports that a vehicle had sunk into the Eel River in Northern California. Searchers found vehicle parts and determined that they came from a maroon Honda Pilot. Investigators said that vehicle may have been intentionally driven off the cliff. "Her wife, Sarah, and two of the six adopted children had "a significant amount" of an ingredient that can be found in Benadryl in their systems".

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