The family's submerged vehicle was discovered about 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the Eel River after a boating team noticed a gasoline smell about half a mile from the reported crash site, Mendocino County Sheriff's Department officials said in an updated news release. The bodies recovered by the search teams have been identified as that of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and his daughter Saachi, nine. The son, Siddhant, continues to be missing and rescue efforts are on to trace him.
The authorities in Northern California have recovered and identified the bodies of three out of four members of a California family who disappeared while on a road trip earlier this month.
An inter-agency search and rescue team in California on Friday also recovered some personal items and numerous parts of a vehicle from a swollen river in which the missing Indian family was travelling last week.
The vehicle was about 4 to 6 feet beneath the water, but visibility was poor and the vehicle was covered in sediment from the river current.
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Dozens of searchers had been combing the river with Jet Skis, boats and kayaks, along with dive teams.
"Search divers entered the water and were able to feel what they believed to be a person inside of the vehicle".
Dana and Bruce Dekalb, who were neighbors of the Harts, reported the family to Child Protective Services, they said, because some of the children, including Devonte, had come to them asking for food and telling them they didn't want to go home.
The Thottapilly family was driving a maroon Honda Pilot with California plate 7MMX138. He grew up in Surat, Gujarat, and settled down in the United States over 15 years ago, a relative said. The family was last heard from in the town of Klamath, Del Norte County, on April 5. Their son, Siddhant, 12, remained missing.
Sarah and Jennifer Hart and their six adopted children were believed to be in the SUV at the time.
The body was found a day after the vehicle with Siddhant's father and younger sister inside were pulled from the river sediment.