Search Team Finds Body of Woman Believed to be From Missing California Family

The Thottapilly family was out on a road trip when they went missing after their car apparently plunged into the Eel river.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly contributing to the search operations launched to locate the Indian family that has been missing for over a week in California. Search teams looking for the Thottapilly family found the body of an adult woman approximately seven miles north of the site where their car went missing, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The FBI is tracking phone records to assist the search operation, Indian America Today reported an official as saying.

The South California-based Indian family — Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, his wife Soumya, 38, and their children, 12-year-old Siddhant and 9-year-old Saachi, have been missing since April 5 when they went on a road trip in their maroon Honda Pilot, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said.

Search teams found the body of an adult woman on April 13, according to the statement.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Incident Number: 2018-10197Crime/Incident: Search & Rescue Operation – Vehicle Recovery…

Posted by Mendocino Sheriff on Friday, April 13, 2018

“The body was found on exposed terrain which appeared to have covered by the Eel River 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 17 April,” the statement added.

The debris of a vehicle and some personal items recovered by the search confirm the suspicion that the vehicle that was seen plunging in the storm-swollen Eel river belonged to the missing Thottapilly family, CBS news reported. “It does confirm the fact the vehicle that was seen going into the river was that of the Thottapilly family,” said California Highway Patrol.

Several items have been positively identified by family members as belonging to the Thottapilly family, the sheriff’s statement said, adding that the items are of a personal nature and will not be described at this time.

Search teams are continuing to search for the missing family members and their vehicle, which is believed to still be submerged somewhere in the Eel River.

The Highway Patrol became aware of the missing Thottapilly family on April 9. The family was believed to be traveling through the Redwood Coast Highway on a vacation. They were supposed to have arrived to visit a friend in the San Jose area on April 6, but they did not make it as scheduled. The family was last heard from in the town of Klamath on April 5. The family was officially reported as missing to the San Jose Police Department on April 8, the statement added.

The External Affairs Ministry of India said on April 12 that Indian Consulate in San Franscisco is trying its best to trace the missing family. “Our consulate there has been maintaining contact with the family members of the missing people. We are in touch with the state police department. We are also in touch with the highway patrol. We are trying our best to locate the whereabouts of the family,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, PTI reported.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *