SUV that plunged into California river found, 2 bodies in it

Hart Family

Hart Family

The body was found on Friday on an exposed terrain which appeared to have covered by the Eel River within the last few days as a result of a recent weather storm which brought heavy rain to the area.

A team on a boat smelled gasoline about half a mile downstream from where the crash was reported and found the SUV.

Soon thereafter, search divers entered the water and were able to feel what they believed to be a person inside of the vehicle.

The bodies of Sandeep and Saachi were recovered yesterday inside the vehicle, a Honda Pilot, which was recovered from about 4-6 feet of river water, the police said.

Searchers located the auto 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.

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Teams Monday were continuing their search for the fourth member of the family, a 12-year-old boy named Siddhant. A tow truck then removed the vehicle, which was encased in a large amount of sediment.

Personal belongings of the four members of the family from Santa Clarita in California, who were believed to be travelling through Humboldt and Mendocino County on US-101 while on a vacation, were also found by the team over a two-day period on Tuesday and Wednesday, officials said. The incident happened on April 6.

They were reported missing April 8 after failing to show up for a visit with relatives in San Jose.

Authorities have confirmed that the bodies of all four members of a Southern California family who went missing while on a spring break road trip late last month have been recovered.

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