Crews find vehicle that went into California river, 2 bodies

Laura Natividad  GETTY IMAGES

When the Thottapillys had not shown up on the afternoon of April 8, Soumya's relatives called the San Jose Police Department, Officer Gina Teeporten told India-West.

On Sunday, searchers found the bodies of 41-year-old Sandeep Thottapilly and his 9-year-old daughter, Saachi, inside the vehicle that was submerged in the Eel River. Separately, an adult female body recovered on Friday from another area of the river was identified as Soumya Thottapilly, 38. Another search operation was conducted Monday in and around the Eel River in an attempt to locate Siddhant Thottapilly, a 12-year-old boy, who still remains missing.

Search teams found and identified family members who disappeared more than a week ago while on a road trip from OR to California.

- A tragic turn in the search for a Southern California family whose auto crashed in the Eel River in Mendocino County.

"At around 11:30am, a boating team noticed a gasoline smell emitting from the water approximately 1/2 mile north of the reported crash site (downstream)".

Several items have been positively identified by family members as belonging to the Thottapilly family, the sheriff's statement said, adding that the items are of a personal nature and will not be described at this time.

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Rescue workers have been using helicopters, boats equipped with sonar, kayaks and river boards.

It was encased in sediment from the river current, but divers were able to feel a person inside. He grew up in Surat, Gujarat, and settled down in the U.S. over 15 years ago, a relative said. They had been traveling from Portland, Ore., and were supposed to meet with relatives in San Jose the following day before going back to their home in Santa Clarita, Calif., just outside Los Angeles.

Farther south, authorities were still looking for the missing members of a different family whose SUV plunged off a towering ocean bluff along the Pacific Coast Highway last month.

Jennifer Hart, who was driving the SUV that careened off a California cliff killing herself, her wife and six kids in a tragedy that police now believe was intentional, was drunk, according to toxicology reports.

The body was found a day after the auto with Siddhant's father and younger sister inside were pulled from the river sediment. Three of the children have not been found.

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