The vehicle itself and the four members of the Thottapilly family have not been recovered from the Eel River, which remains too risky for divers to enter, but searchers along the banks located numerous items consistent with a Honda vehicle and interior, and items consistent with a family traveling on vacation, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Investigators have said they believe the missing children were inside the vehicle at the time of crash. Five bodies were found March 26 near Mendocino, a couple days after Washington state authorities began exploring the Harts but most of these children were not instantly recovered from the spectacle along the shoreline.
A woman who called OR child welfare officials in 2013 about a woman who last month drove off a California cliff with her family says the household was run "like a regimented boot camp".
California Highway Patrol officials said Thursday they had recovered personal items belonging to the family from the rain-swollen Eel River, confirming that the vehicle that fell into the river April 6 was that of the Thottapilly family.
Authorities searching for a family whose SUV plunged into a Northern California river have found the body of a woman.
There were no skid marks at the scene, Carpenter said.
Authorities also announced that investigations revealed that no one in the Hart vehicle was using seat belts.
But their three other children - Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12 - are missing, officials said. Toxicology results on a third child whose body was recovered from the crash area are still pending.
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"We believe that the Hart incident was in fact intentional", he said. They say the items are consistent with a family on vacation and unspecified items were identified by relatives of the Thottapilly family.
A neighbor of the Harts in Woodland, Washington, had filed a complaint, saying the children were apparently being deprived of food as punishment.
By the next morning, the Harts had left town.
The toxicology report also found that two of the adopted children and her wife, Sarah Hart, had a "significant amount" of an ingredient that can make consumers feel sleepy and is often found in allergy medicine like Benadryl.
A family of four taking a West Coast road trip vanished about 30 miles from the site of the Hart family crash, authorities said this week.
The Thottapilly family-father Sandeep, 42, mother Soumya, 38, and their two children, son Siddhant, 12, and daughter Saachi, 9-were traveling from Portland, Oregon, to San Jose when they "suddenly stopped communicating with family in Valencia" on April 5.