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Rescuers searching for missing Indian family find body

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Rescuers in the US have found the body of a woman while searching for a missing Indian family of four who are feared drowned in a river.

An and rescue team in yesterday recovered some personal items and numerous parts of a vehicle from a swollen river in which the missing Indian family was travelling last week.

Personal belongings of the four members of the family from Santa Clarita in California, who were believed to be travelling through Humboldt and on US-101 while on a vacation, were also found by the team over a two-day period on Tuesday and Wednesday, officials said.

Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, of the on Santa Clarita, and his wife Soumya Thottapilly, 38, were on a road trip along with their two kids -- Siddhanth, 12 and Saachi, nine -- in the maroon Pilot from Portland, to in Southern California, during which they went missing on April 5.

The body has been sent for identification, amidst fear that that this could be that from the missing Thottapilly family.

"Searchers located the deceased body of an adult female approximately seven miles north of the reported (flows in a northern direction)," California's Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The body was found yesterday on an exposed terrain which appeared to have covered by the within the last few days as a result of a recent weather storm which brought heavy rain to the area.

Identification of the body is pending at this time and an autopsy is anticipated to be conducted on April 17.

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

Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Office and the Highway Patrol, Garberville Area Office, are continuing their efforts along the South of the Eel River, just north of the town of California, to locate and recover a vehicle that was reported to have been submerged in the river on around 1:10 PM on Friday, April 6.

Between the two search days, the Swift Water Rescue Teams were able to cover approximately 12 miles of the Eel river, just north of the town of in California.

The vehicle is reported to have submerged in the river around 1:10 pm on April 6.

"The teams were unsuccessful in locating the vehicle or any occupants from the vehicle. They were able to locate numerous items that appeared to have come from a vehicle body and interior," the Garberville office of the California Highway said.

It said several items were identified by the family members of those missing.

"Some of these items were consistent with a vehicle. Also located were various personal items that were consistent with a family travelling on vacation. Several items have been positively identified, by the family members, as belonging to the Thottapilly family," it said.

"These items were of a personal nature and will not be described further at this time, but it does confirm the fact the vehicle that was seen going into the river was that of the Thottapilly family," the California Highway said.

According to the Police Department, the Thottapilly family was supposed to have arrived to visit a friend in the 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.

The California Highway developed information that the family were travelling in a family vehicle, a 2016 maroon Pilot.

The family was officially reported as missing to the on April 8.

Sandeep grew up in city in and settled down in the US over 15 years ago.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 15 2018. 01:10 IST
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