Bodies of Indian family whose SUV plunged into California river found

Bodies of Indian family whose SUV plunged into California river found

A search team on a boat smelled gasoline about a half-mile (1 kilometer) downstream from where the crash was reported and found the Honda Pilot underwater, authorities said.

Searchers on Monday found the body of a 12-year-old boy in a Northern California river - the last of four family members who perished when their sport utility vehicle plunged into the rain-swollen torrent.

Searchers located the vehicle Sunday in the Eel River and recovered the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and Saachi Thottapilly, 9, the Mendocino County sheriff's office said in a statement. About 6:30 pm a tow truck was able to partially pull the vehicle out and two bodies were found inside it.

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

Investigators also have identified a body recovered Friday as belonging to Sandeep Thottapilly's wife, 38-year-old Soumya.

The office says 70 searchers combed the area, including more than 20 crew members searching the water in Jet Skis, boats and kayaks.

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The vehicle was encased in sediment and visibility was poor but divers believed there was at least one body inside, officials said. Their disappearance coincided with reports that a vehicle had sunk into the Eel River in Northern California.

More than a week after an Indian family went missing in United States, their SUV that had fallen into a rain-swollen Northern California river has been found with two bodies inside, authorities said on Monday, as per a report in the New York Post.

Sandeep was a Vice-President at Union Bank, while Soumya was a stay-at-home parent. But the Thottapillys never made it to San Jose and were later reported missing, police said.

The Thottapilly family were traveling from Portland, Oregon, to San Jose when they "suddenly stopped communicating with family in Valencia" on April 5.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman told TIME: "There are more reasons to believe that this was intentional than there are to believe that this was an accident". 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.

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