Body of last missing family member found in California river

Body of last missing family member found in California river

Inside were the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and nine-year-old Saachi Thottapilly.

Siddhant Thottapilly was the last to be found after the family of four went missing earlier this month. Body of Sandeep's wife Soumya (38) was recovered last week.

A boating team on April 15 noticed a smell of gasoline emanating from the water - around half-a-mile ahead, downstream, of the reported crash site.

Soumya Thottapilly was found in an area previously covered with water from the storm-swollen river.

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

Lt. England described in detail the investigative steps being taken by the California Highway Patrol officers in order to establish an exact timeline for the Thottapilly family's trip through Humboldt and Mendocino Counties including; obtaining phone records and bank transactions to establish where the Thottapilly family might have stopped during their trip.

Recovery efforts continued for several hours and at approximately 6:30 PM the vehicle was partially removed from the Eel River by use of a tow truck.

On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, numerous search resources were utilized including CHP Helicopter, boats equipped with sonar, kayaks, and river boards in attempt to locate the vehicle and its occupants. Visibility was extremely poor and divers noted the vehicle was encased in a large amount of sediment from the river current, a media release said.

They were reported missing on April 8, following which authorities launched massive search and rescue operation involving helicopters, boats and divers.

Investigators have said they believe the crash, which came days after Washington state child welfare officials opened an investigation into the family, was intentional.

Sandeep Thottapilly and family. Responding to his message, Swaraj said: "I am in constant touch with our consulate in San Francisco".

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