Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Bodies of missing Indian-American family members recovered

Bodies of missing Indian-American family members recovered

"Once the body was recovered it was identified as being Siddhant Thottapilly, the remaining missing member of the Thottapilly family". The Thottapilly family from Santa Clarita had been missing since April 6. The rescue teams had earlier last week found the body of a woman, who was identified as Soumya, and remains of the vehicle and the belongings of the Thottapilly family. Their disappearance coincided with reports that a vehicle had sunk into the Eel River in Northern California.

The family?s maroon SUV was seen falling into the river in northern Mendocino County from a pullout during a rainstorm.

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 vehicle reportedly crashed, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Capt. Gregory L. Van Patten said in a statement.

The body of a 12-year-old boy was found in a California river, 6 miles away from where the rest of his family was found dead. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said Monday, April 16, 2018, that searchers located the auto Sunday and recovered the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly and Saachi Thottapilly. They'd been traveling south from OR along Highway 101 when the incident occurred, officials said.

The bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly and Saachi Thottapilly were recovered from inside the vehicle on Sunday.

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A search team on a boat smelled gasoline about a half-mile (1 kilometer) downstream from where the crash was reported and found the Honda Pilot underwater, authorities said.

The vehicle was encased in sediment and visibility was poor but divers believed there was at least one body inside, officials said.

Search crews from multiple local law enforcement agencies have been trying to retrieve the vehicle, including the Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue; the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Boat Team; the California Highway Patrol Helicopter based in Redding, California; the Piercy Fire Department; the Leggett Valley Fire Department; the Swift Water Component Teams; the Little Lake Fire Department, the Ukiah Valley Fire Department, and the Hopland Fire Department.

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.

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