After the bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and his daughter Saachi, 9, were found on Sunday, the body of the fourth and final missing member of the Thottapilly family was recovered from the Eel River in Leggett Monday afternoon, it is learnt.
According to local media reports, the body of Sandeep’s 12-year-old son Siddhant Thottapilly was found about six miles north of the crash site.
The Indian American family had gone missing around 10 days ago. The family was driving down to San Jose in Southern California from Portland, Oregon.
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.
Last week, the rescue team had found the body of a woman, later identified to be that of Soumya (Sandeep’s wife), along with remains of the vehicle and some belongings of the Thottapilly family.
“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 (downstream). 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.
Soon thereafter, 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, a media release said.
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. This provided searchers the ability to conduct a visual inspection of the inside of the vehicle.
According to the San Jose Police Department, the family of Sandeep Thottapilly was supposed to have arrived to visit a friend in the San Jose area on April 6 but did not make it as scheduled. The family was last heard from in the town of Klamath, Del Norte County, on April 5.
(With agency inputs)