UPDATE: Investigators find fourth body in Eel River search

Teams searching the banks of the Eel River this week found items belonging to the missing Thottapilly family, local authorities reported Thursday. (Contributed photo).
Teams searching the banks of the Eel River this week found items belonging to the missing Thottapilly family, local authorities reported Thursday. (Contributed photo).
The Thottapilly family went missing Thursday while traveling from Portland, Ore., to San Jose. (Courtesy)
The Thottapilly family went missing Thursday while traveling from Portland, Ore., to San Jose. (Courtesy)

From a Garberville Area CHP press release:

MENDOCINO COUNTY >> On April 16, 2018, at approximately 4:00 P.M., Lieutenant Randy England of the California Highway Patrol, was notified by Sheriff Tom Allman of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, that search crews located the body of Siddhant Thottapilly.

The body was located submerged in the Eel River, near Confusion Hill, approximately six miles north of the traffic collision, on US 101, in Mendocino County. Siddhant Thottapilly was the last missing Thotapilly family member from the traffic collision on April 6, 2018.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP), in conjunction with Sheriff Tom Allman, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and other allied agency partners have been actively searching for the missing vehicle, and its occupants since the traffic collision on April 6, 2018.

On Friday, April 13, 2018, search crews located Souyma Thottapilly submerged in the Eel River approximately seven miles north of the traffic collision.

On April 15, 2018, approximately seventy searchers searched the Eel River in Leggett, California. The search consisted of twenty-one water searchers, two jet ski teams, two boat teams including several kayak and river board teams. At approximately 11:30 AM a boating search team probed the water and located a vehicle approximately four to six feet submerged in the water. Search divers entered the water and were able to locate Sandeep Thottapilly, Saachi Thottapilly, and the missing vehicle.

The search teams have located and recovered all four missing family members of the Thottapilly family and the missing vehicle.

Anyone with known information pertaining to the family’s route of travel, places where they stopped, may have come into contact with or have any information regarding the Thottapilly family are asked to call the California Highway Patrol – Garberville Area office at (707) 923-2155

PREVIOUSLY: The following is from a press release issued by the California Highway Patrol:

Mendocino County >> On Sunday, at approximately 1:00 p.m., Lieutenant Randy England of the California Highway Patrol was notified by Sheriff Tom Allman of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, that search crews had located the missing vehicle from the traffic collision on April 6, 2018.

The vehicle was located submerged in the Eel River, approximately half of a mile north of the traffic collision, on U.S. Highway 101, south of Dora Creek, in Mendocino County. Search crews have located two bodies inside the vehicle that has yet to be identified.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP), in conjunction with Sheriff Tom Allman, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and other allied agency partners have been actively searching for the missing vehicle, and its occupants since the traffic collision on April 6, 2018. Search teams will continue to proactively search for the remaining occupant of the vehicle.

On Friday, April 13, 2018, search crews located a female body in the Eel River approximately seven miles north of the traffic collision. At this time positive identification is pending.

Anyone with known information pertaining to the family’s route of travel, places where they stopped, may have come into contact with or have any information regarding the Thottapilly family are asked to call the California Highway Patrol – Garberville Area office at (707) 923-2155.

This is an on-going investigation and updates will be provided as new information is available.

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