3 members of the missing Indian-American family found dead
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Rescue workers have recovered the bodies of three members of an Indian American family from the Eel River in North California by Sunday night, the local police said. The car in which the family of four was travelling when it fell into the river on April 6, has also been recovered. Search is on for a 12-year old boy, the police said.
Rescue workers found the bodies of 41-year old Sandeep Thottapilly and his nine-year old daughter Saachi in the car that was found submerged not very far from the spot where it fell into the river, the police said. The police have also announced that a body recovered from the river on Friday has been identified as 38-year old Soumya Thottapilly. The family was driving from Portland, Oregon to San Jose through a forest road on the rainy day, when their car slipped off, into the river.
“At approximately 11:30 AM a boating team noticed a gasoline smell emitting from the water approximately 1/2 mile north of the reported crash site (down stream). The searchers began to probe the water and located a vehicle submerged approximately 4-6 feet beneath the water,” the statement said. Search divers entered the water and were able to feel what they believed to be a person inside of the vehicle. Visibility was extremely poor and divers noted the vehicle was encased in a large amount of sediment from the river current, said the police. By evening the vehicle was partially removed from the Eel River by use of a tow truck. This provided searchers the ability to conduct a visual inspection of the inside of the vehicle. “Searchers subsequently recovered the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly and Saachi Thottapilly from inside the vehicle,” said the statement. Autopsies will be performed on all bodies later this week.