The bodies 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.
Earlier this month, the Thottapilly family was driving to their home in Santa Clarita, California, from Portland, Oregon, authorities said. A relative called on April 8 to report the family missing.
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.
On Sunday, search and rescue efforts focused on an area about half a mile from the crash site. At 11:30 a.m., the sheriff’s office said a boating team noticed the smell of gasoline coming from the river.
A vehicle was located about 4 to 6 feet underwater and divers felt what they believed to be a body inside.
After seven hours of recovery efforts, the vehicle was partially removed from the river by a tow truck. It was then that searchers recovered the bodies of Sandeep and Sacchi Thottapilly.
Also Sunday, authorities confirmed a body found Friday was Soumya Thottapilly. Authorities Monday said found the body of a young male, later identified as Siddhant Thottapilly.
Autopsies of all four bodies are expected to be conducted this week.
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