Father, daughter found in submerged vehicle in Mendocino County's Eel River

Father, daughter found in submerged vehicle in Mendocino County's Eel River

Father, daughter found in submerged vehicle in Mendocino County's Eel River

The body of a 12-year-old boy was found in a California river, 6 miles away from where the rest of his family was found dead.

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

Authorities say they have recovered their SUV with two bodies inside, the father and his 9-year-old daughter.

"This provided searchers the ability to conduct a visual inspection of the inside of the vehicle", said van Patten, adding: "Searchers subsequently recovered the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly and Saachi Thottapilly from inside the vehicle".

The body has been identified as that of 12-year-old Sidhhanty Thottapilly.

The Thottapillys' vehicle was completely submerged under heavy water, said Bartley, noting that intense rains had soaked the river, which was moving very swiftly.

Autopsies of the three bodies are expected to be conducted this week.

The searches last weekend involved 70 people, including 21 in the water using Jet Skis and kayaks. "Visibility was extremely poor and divers noted the vehicle was encased in a large amount of sediment from the river current", he said.

They had been traveling from Portland, Ore., and were supposed to meet with relatives in San Jose the following day before going back to their home in Santa Clarita, Calif., just outside Los Angeles. While they were crossing the bridge over the river in northern Mendocino County, there was a sudden rainstorm and their vehicle plunged into river Eel.

Farther south along the Mendocino County coast, authorities continue to look for members of a family missing since an SUV made a deadly and possibly intentional plunge off a towering ocean bluff along State Route 1 last month. The crash killed a married couple, Jennifer Jean Hart and Sarah Margaret Hart, both 38, and at least three of their six children. On Sunday the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division was also able to identify the adult female recovered from the Eel River on April 13, 2018 as being Soumya Thottapilly, 38.

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