Bodies of Missing Indian Family Members Recovered from California River


The Thottapilly family was on a road trip from OR to San Jose when their SUV plunged into the Eel River in Northern California.

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. Another woman's body found about seven miles from the scene over the weekend was identified as 38-year-old Soumya Thottapilly.

The family was reported missing on April 8 two days after they didn't show up to a relatives' house. Their disappearance coincided with reports that a vehicle had sunk into the Eel River in Northern California.

A boating team on April 15 noticed a smell of gasoline emanating from the water - around half-a-mile ahead, downstream, of the reported crash site.

The coroner's office was also able to identify another body that was found on Friday as 38-year-old Soumya Thottapilly.

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Police are still searching for the couple's son, Siddhant Thottapilly, 12, who was believed to be with the rest of the family when the deadly incident occurred. As many as 21 water searchers, including two jet ski teams, two boat teams and many kayak teams, were looking through the waters. Witnesses in Mendocino County - the same Northern California locality where another family died last month after their vehicle was possibly driven off a cliff - reported seeing an SUV being swept away in a river.

Authorities have discovered the family's maroon Honda Pilot, which had veered off the 101 Freeway and plunged into the Eel River, near Leggett, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office announced Monday.

The bodies of a man and child found in an SUV that plunged into a California river were identified as members of the Thottapilly family who vanished in early April, authorities said Monday.

The four members of the Thottapilly family went missing while traveling from Portland, Oregon, to their home in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita. 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.