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Body of last missing Indian family member found in California river

17 April 2018

Searchers yesterday found the body of Siddhant Thottapilly, the last to be found after the family of four went missing.

The boy's mother, Soumya Thottapilly, 38, was found Friday miles from the crash site in an area previously covered with water from the storm-swollen river.

Cindy Bartley, assistant to Chief Deputy Coroner Shannon Barney, told India-West that the bodies of Sandeep, Soumya, and Saachi are now with the coroner's office.

Crews are still looking for the body of their 12-year old son, Siddhant Thottapilly.

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. "The searchers began to probe the water and located a vehicle submerged approximately 4-6 feet beneath the water", California's Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Authorities searching for a family whose SUV plunged into a rain-swollen Northern California river found the vehicle and the body of a man and a girl inside it.

The vehicle was encased in sediment and visibility was poor but divers believed there was at least one body inside, officials said. About 6:30 p.m. a tow truck was able to partially pull the vehicle out and the bodies were found. The search consisted of 21 water searchers, which included two jet-ski teams, two boat teams and several Kayak/Carlson board teams.

"Searchers subsequently recovered the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly and Saachi Thottapilly from inside the vehicle", the Sheriff Office said adding that the autopsies are expected to be performed this week as part of the coroner's investigation into the incident. My son Sandeep Thottapilly is residing in California, USA. They were reported missing April 8 after failing to show up for a visit with relatives in San Jose.

After the disappearance, Sandeep's father had tweeted to Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and sought her help. "Rest assured. We will spare no effort".

Body of last missing Indian family member found in California river