Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Last missing California family member found dead

Last missing California family member found dead

Two bodies have been found in the search for a missing Southern California family after their SUV plunged into a Northern California river.

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.

While 42-year-old Sandeep Thottapilly and his daughter named Saachi was found dead inside the auto, mother Soumya Thottapilly was found in another part of the river. A third body recovered last week was also linked to the family.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office says that around 4 p.m. Monday, searchers found the body of a boy submerged in the Eel River about 6 miles downstream from where the SUV crashed. The couple's 12-year-old son, Sidhhant Thottapilly remains missing.

On Sunday almost 70 jet skis, boats were involved in the search operation.

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

The vehicle was encased in sediment and visibility was poor but divers believed there was at least one body inside, officials said. Crews partially removed the vehicle with a tow truck and recovered the bodies, the sheriff's office said. The body of 38-year-old Soumya Thottapilly was found Friday.

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

The body was found a day after the auto with Siddhant's father and younger sister inside were pulled from the river sediment.

A poster shared by friends and family on Facebook said their last known location was the "Klamath-Redwood National Park area". Three of the children have not been found.

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