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

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

The CHP says their van ran off Highway 101 south of Dora Creek during heavy rain, and plunged into the Eel River. Searchers found a vehicle submerged between 4-6 feet under the water.

It was discovered the vehicle with 41-year-old Sandeep Thottapilly, 38-year-old Soumya Thottapilly, 12-year-old Siddhant Thottapilly and 9-year-old Saachi Thottapilly inside had gone off a cliff in Mendocino County.

Crews searching for a family whose vehicle plunged into a rain-swollen Northern California river more than a week ago have found the sport utility vehicle and the bodies of a man and a girl inside, authorities said Monday.

Earlier this month, the Thottapilly family was driving to their home in Santa Clarita, California, from Portland, Oregon, authorities said.




The bodies of his father and 9-year-old sister were found inside the submerged vehicle on Sunday and his mother's body was found last Friday. The couple's 12-year-old son, Sidhhanty Thottapilly, remains missing.

The discovery came three days after a body was found in the Eel River - a woman identified Saturday as Soumya Thottapilly, 38, wife and mother.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said Monday that a boating team searching the Eel River noticed the fuel odor about half a mile (1 kilometer) downstream from where the crash was reported.

The driver apparently had pulled off the road during a powerful storm but the SUV went over the edge of an embankment into the flooded river, sheriff's officials have said. 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. Authorities say they believe the crash was intentional. A body was found in the ocean at the scene, but it has not been identified.