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Bodies of missing man, 2 children found in submerged SUV

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Authorities recovered the bodies of 3 members of the Thottapilly family on Sunday from the Eel River.

Officials said 70 searchers were sent out on Sunday in hopes of finding the family. Searchers found a vehicle submerged between 4-6 feet under the water. While searching the vehicle, they felt what they believed to be a person.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said after the vehicle was partially removed from the river, 2 bodies were found inside the vehicle -- later identified as 42-year-old Sandeep and 9-year-old Saachi Thottapilly.

Later on Monday, at approximately 4p.m., searchers with the Sheriff's Office located another body submerged in the Eel River, about 6 miles north fo the crash site. That body was later identified as Siddhant Thottapilly, the last member of the family gone missing in the crash. 

The coroner's office was also able to identify another body that was found on Friday as 38-year-old Soumya Thottapilly.

The family was on their way back to their Santa Clarita home after a road trip where they stopped in Portland. Family members last heard from them on April 5 and said it's rare for them not to be in contact. They were reported missing April 8.

The Thottapilly family was driving a maroon Honda Pilot with California plate 7MMX138. Witnesses said they saw a car matching that description go into the Eel River on April 6 during stormy weather. Authorities later confirmed that the car did belong to the family.

Autopsies are expected to be performed later this week.


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