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2 bodies, vehicle found after California family's SUV went into river

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Searchers found the last body of four family members who died when their sport utility vehicle plunged into the rain-swollen torrent

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

The office also said the body of an adult female found in the Eel River on Friday has been identified as 38-year-old Soumya Thottapilly.

Authorities say they have recovered their SUV with two bodies inside, the father and his 9-year-old daughter. The couple's 12-year-old son, Sidhhant Thottapilly remains missing. After several hours of searching near the reported crash site, search teams found the Thottapilly vehicle submerged about 4-6 feet beneath the water. The authorities on Sunday recovered two bodies belonging to a family who disappeared during a road trip this month.

Searchers along the banks located numerous items consistent with a Honda vehicle and interior, and items consistent with a family traveling on vacation, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. They soon found the vehicle, and divers reported feeling what they believed to be a person inside. Visibility was extremely poor and divers noted the vehicle was encased in a large amount of sediment from the river current. That evening, at approximately 6:30 p.m., rescuers were able to partially remove the Honda Pilot from the river by using a tow truck.

County Sheriff's Office shows the Eel River in Northern California. Authorities searching for a family whose SUV plunged into a Northern California river have found the body of a
River in Northern California

Captain Gregory van Patten of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported in an April 16 press release that 70 members of a search and rescue team had conducted operations over the past week since the Thottapillys went missing. The family was last heard from in the town of Klamath, Del Norte County, on April 5.

According to the San Jose Police Department, the Thottapilly family was supposed to have arrived to visit a friend in the San Jose area on April 6 but did not make it as scheduled.

Now that the vehicle has been recovered, the highway patrol will conduct a complete mechanical inspection as part of the accident investigation. Five bodies were found March 26 near Mendocino, a few days after Washington state authorities began investigating the Harts for possible child neglect, but three of their children were not immediately recovered from the scene along the shoreline.

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