Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Authorities Find Two More Bodies of Valencia Family Vanished

Authorities Find Two More Bodies of Valencia Family Vanished

This photo was posted on Sandeep Thottapilly's Facebook page on October 22, 2013.

Searchers located the auto Sunday in the Eel River and recovered the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and Saachi Thottapilly, 9, the Mendocino County sheriff's office said in a statement.

The vehicle was encased in a large amount of sediment from the river current and it took hours for the auto to be towed out, leading to the removal of the two bodies, the sheriff's office was cited as saying by the New York Times.

Efforts to recover the vehicle continued for many hours, before the vehicle was partially brought out from the Eel River with the help of a tow truck. Sheriff's officials confirmed that after the auto was out of the river, searchers were able to recover the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 42, and Saachi Thottapilly, 9, from inside the vehicle.

Autopsies to determined the victims' cause of death will be performed later this week.

A body recovered last week was later identified as Thottapilly's wife, Soumya, 38.

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Searchers last Thursday had recovered debris and personal items confirmed that an SUV seen plunging into the Northern California river belonged to the Thottapilly family, authorities said.

The family began a trip to Portland, Oregon, in a 2016 Maroon Honda Pilot from their Valencia home on March 30.

The family was believed to be vacationing when they were reported missing last week. Their disappearance coincided with reports that a vehicle had sunk into the Eel River in Northern California. That vehicle went over the edge of Highway 101 at mile marker 95.

Bodies of Thottapilly and his daughter were found inside the SUV lying submerged between 4 and 6 feet of water. According to the statement, the search consisted of 21 water searchers which included 2 Jet Ski teams, 2 Boat teams and several Kayak/Carlson board teams. In that case, Jennifer and Sarah Hart and three of their six children were found dead at the scene and three other children remain missing.

The body has been identified as that of 12-year-old Sidhhanty Thottapilly.

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