Rescuers searching for missing Indian family find woman's body

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

The family's submerged vehicle was discovered about 11:30 the Eel River after a boating team noticed a gasoline smell about half a mile from the reported crash site, Mendocino County Sheriff's Department officials said in an updated news release.

Siddhant Thottapilly, 12, remains missing.

Separately, an adult female body recovered on Friday from another area of the river was identified as Soumya Thottapilly, 38.

Soon thereafter, search divers entered the water and were able to feel what they believed to be a person inside of the vehicle.

The body was found seven miles of the spot where the Thottapilly family reportedly crashed into the river. A tow truck then removed the vehicle, which was encased in a large amount of sediment.

The family members were traveling from Portland, Oregon, to their home in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita.

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.

Their disappearance coincided with reports that a vehicle had sunk into the Eel River in Northern California.

The family was last heard from in Del Norte County and was reported missing by family members in San Jose on April 8.

A powerful storm dropped 2 to 5 inches of rain the day the family went missing.

Five bodies were found March 26 near Mendocino, a few days after Washington state authorities began investigating the Harts for possible child neglect. A body was pulled from the surf April 7 but has not been identified.

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