All bodies of missing Southern California family found

Thottapilly family SUV that plunged into swollen river in California found with 2 bodies inside; young boy still missing

The bodies of two adults and one child of a family missing for about two weeks after leaving Portland that were found in the Eel River in northern California have been positively identified by search personnel.

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

The sheriff's office said the bodies of 41-year-old Sandeep and 9-year-old Saachi Thottapilly were found inside the Honda after it was pulled from the river. It was then that searchers recovered the bodies of Sandeep and Sacchi Thottapilly.

On Sunday, searchers discovered a vehicle in the river about a half-mile downstream of the reported crash site, near Leggett, the sheriff's office said. 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.

A poster shared by friends and family on Facebook said their last known location was the "Klamath-Redwood National Park area". Autopsies will be performed on all three victims April 17.

The force of the river caused a lot of damage to the vehicle and windows to break, said Bartley, theorizing that Soumya Thottapilly was likely shaken loose from the force of the water, and floated away in the rapid river.

The searches last weekend involved 70 people, including 21 in the water using Jet Skis and kayaks.

The vehicle was encased in sediment and visibility was poor but divers believed there was at least one body inside, officials said. Search divers entered the water and were able to feel what they believed to be a person inside of the vehicle. The family member told police he had not heard from the Thottapillys since April 6, which was unusual for the family.

The family's maroon SUV was seen falling into the river in northern Mendocino County from a pullout during an April 6 rainstorm.

Five bodies were found March 26 near Mendocino, a few days after Washington state authorities began investigating the Harts for possible child neglect.



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