Hyderabad: Almost eight days after the family of Sandeep Thottapilly went missing in the Eel River in Northern Mendocino County, California, a body suspected to be that of one of the family members has been found.
According to a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office, on Friday around 10.45 am, “searchers located the body of an adult female approximately seven miles north of the reported crash site.”
Though identification of the body is yet to be done, officials suspect it could be of one of the members of the missing Indian family.
“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,” said officials.
Identification of the body is pending and an autopsy is expected to be conducted on Tuesday.
The Sheriff added that searchers were continuing to search for the missing family members and their vehicle, which is believed to still be submerged somewhere in the Eel River.
Meanwhile, Sandeep’s wife Soumya’s brother Likhith S, has tweeted to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, pointing out about the body being found. He has requested help for a US visa on emergency for his parents ER Somanatha Pillai and KK Ratnalatha to identify the body and to conduct the rites thereafter.
Sandeep Thottapilly, 42, a vice-president with Union Bank, his wife Soumya, 38, and their children Siddhant, 12, and Saachi, 9, were traveling from Portland, Oregon to San Jose, California when they went missing on April 5.
Reports later suggested that their car could have plunged off the road into the Eel River during severely inclement weather, with an eyewitness also reporting that he saw the car going off the road into the river below. Search efforts over the last four days saw recovery of several parts of the vehicle, a maroon Honda Pilot, and other items, including a cap and a sweater, which relatives identified as that of Sandeep and Saachi.
Here is the press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office: