Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Bodies of missing Indian-American family members recovered

Bodies of missing Indian-American family members recovered

The body "appears to be that of an African American Female", but age and identity could not be determined, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said.

Searchers have found the bodies of all four members of a Valencia family whose SUV plunged into a Northern California river and they have removed the vehicle from the water.

The Thottapilly family, from Santa Clarita, were on a road trip when they disappeared on April 6 while driving through Redwood Coast Highway. Crews partially removed the auto with a tow truck and recovered the bodies of the father and daughter, the sheriff's office said. "Visibility was extremely poor and divers noted the vehicle was encased in a large amount of sediment from the river current", the statement said.

"We want to say to these courts and to say to this community that we're not just going to continue to stand by and let this happen to our families", said attorney Pamela Muhammad.

Afile photo released by The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office shows a search underway along the Eel River in Northern California.

An autopsy is expected to be performed this week as part of the investigation into the incident.

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The site of the crash is about 30 miles north of where another family's SUV plunged off of a cliff and crashed on the rocky Pacific Ocean shore.

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.

On Sunday, 70 searchers using Jet Skis, boats and kayaks worked along the river in an ongoing effort to find the vehicle and family. The river was swollen from recent storms and officials had to wait several days for it to recede.

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

Nathaniel Davis believes Devonte, 15, Jeremiah, 14, and Sierra, 12, would still be alive if they'd been allowed to stay with their family.

On April 9, a body of a girl was discovered near the wreckage that could be one of the two missing girls from the crash.

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