Woman's body found in river linked to missing Indian family in US


The body of 38-year-old Soumya Thottapilly was found Friday.

Officials in Northern California say crews found a vehicle that plunged into a rain-swollen Northern California river after noticing a gasoline smell.

Authorities, who originally had said the body was a child's, anticipate that an autopsy will be performed early next week.

The bodies of his father and 9-year-old sister were found inside the submerged vehicle on Sunday and his mother's body was found last Friday.

Searchers on the Eel River in Leggett, Calif., on Sunday recovered the submerged bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and his daughter, Saachi, 9, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Monday.

Searchers are looking for the missing family members and their vehicle which is believed to be submerged somewhere in the Eel River.

On the day of the reported crash, a search and rescue dive team was dispatched, but the crews weren't able to search because a storm had caused an unsafe height and current in the river, the county sheriff's office said.

Pat Berkowitz, who witnessed the crash last week, told ABC station KGO in San Francisco he saw the vehicle flip over into the river.

"The teams were unsuccessful in locating the vehicle". Search teams found and identified family members who disappeared more than a week ago while on a road trip from OR to California.

The poster shared on Facebook described the family's vehicle as a maroon or burgundy 2016 Honda Pilot. The California Highway Patrol did recover a part from a maroon Honda Pilot - the type of vehicle the family was traveling in, the sheriff's office said.

The discovery followed more than a week of search efforts for Sandeep Thottapilly, his wife, Soumya, and their two children, who disappeared while traveling to meet with family members in San Jose. The sheriff's office didn't reveal what the belongings are but said they "confirm the fact the vehicle that was seen going into the river was that of the Thottapilly family". The family was last heard from in the town of Klamath, Del Norte County, on April 5, they said.

They were reported missing April 8 after failing to show up for a visit with relatives in San Jose.

Sandeep grew up in Surat city in Gujarat and settled down in the U.S. over 15 years ago.