Search for missing Indian family continues

The car, according to local police authorities, is suspected to have been the one in which Sandeep and his family was travelling, though this is yet to be confirmed.

By Author  |  Published: 13th Apr 2018  12:22 amUpdated: 14th Apr 2018  10:00 am
Indian family
Sandeep Thottapilly, his wife Soumya, and their children Siddhant and Saachi.

Hyderabad: Search efforts are still underway to locate the family of Sandeep Thottapilly, with the focus on being tracing a vehicle that went missing in the Eel River on April 5.

According to a report in the ​​Redheaded Blackbelt, a local news agency, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department’s motorized boat on Wednesday joined the search for the vehicle which rolled over the embankment and disappeared into the Eel River north of Leggett.

The car, according to local police authorities, is suspected to have been the one in which Sandeep and his family was travelling, though this is yet to be confirmed. The family has been missing since April 5 after they set out on a road trip from Portland, Oregon to San Jose, California.

The CHP helicopter began circling the Eel River around the accident site on Wednesday, the report said. It also quoted Officer William Wunderlich of the Garberville CHP office that the river conditions were improving, with the waters receding and clearing up.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department’s motorized boat, equipped with a forward-looking sonar, was using radio waves to search for underwater obstacles, with the crew on the boat also trying to locate sunken items using equipment for the same, the report said.

Wunderlich told the ​​Redheaded Blackbelt said that once the vehicle was located, then divers would attempt to determine if bodies are inside.

“If anything is missing,” he said, “then other plans will have to be put in place.”

Diana Totten from Southern Humboldt Technical Search and Rescue was quoted saying multiple agencies and volunteer organizations were working together to search for the missing vehicle. “All stops are being pulled out,” she said.

The agencies and organizations involved, according to the report were the Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Boat Team, California Highway Patrol Helicopter based in Redding, California, Piercy Fire Department, Leggett Valley Fire Department and the Swift Water Component Teams of Little Lake Fire Department, Ukiah Valley Fire Department and Hopland Fire Department.