Bodies of missing daughter, father found in flooded Calif. river

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SAN JOSE - Searchers have found the bodies of a missing Valencia father and daughter in a flooded Northern California river, sheriff’s officials announced Monday.

The family’s submerged vehicle was discovered about 11:30 a.m. in the Eel River after a boating team noticed a gasoline smell about half a mile from the reported crash site, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department officials said in an updated news release.

The vehicle was about 4 to 6 feet beneath the water, but visibility and the vehicle was covered in sediment from the river current.

Recovery efforts continued through the morning, until the vehicle was partially removed from the river about 6:30 p.m.

The bodies of  Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and Saachi Thottapilly, 9, were found inside, officials said.

Autopsies to determined the victims’ cause of death will be performed later this week.

A woman’s body, later positively identified as Soumya Thottapilly, 38, was found late last week, and the search continues this week for the final family member, Siddhant Thottapilly, 12.

The family began a trip to Portland, Oregon in a 2016 Maroon Honda Pilot from their Valencia home on March 30.

They were expected at a family member’s home in San Jose on April 6, but they never showed. Relatives reported them missing two days later.

A vehicle matching the description of the one belonging to the Thottapilly family was seen going into the river on April 6, when a massive storm swamped areas of Northern California. That vehicle went over the edge of Highway 101 at mile marker 95.

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