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US rescuers find bodies of missing Keralite, daughter

17 April 2018

Siddhant's body was found submerged in the Eel River about 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) downstream from where the family vehicle reportedly crashed, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Capt. Gregory L. Van Patten said in a statement. Separately, an adult female body recovered on Friday from another area of the river was identified as Soumya Thottapilly, 38.

Now that the vehicle has been recovered, the highway patrol will conduct a complete mechanical inspection as part of the accident investigation.

A boating team on April 15 noticed a smell of gasoline emanating from the water - around half-a-mile ahead, downstream, of the reported crash site.

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Soumya's body was found several miles from where the vehicle went into the water.

The vehicle was about 4 to 6 feet beneath the water, but visibility was poor and the vehicle was covered in sediment from the river current. Crews partially removed the vehicle with a tow truck and recovered the bodies, the sheriff's office said. Numerous personal items were recovered by search personnel and with the help of family members, it was confirmed those recovered items belonged to members of the missing Thottapilly family.

Authorities have discovered the family's maroon Honda Pilot, which had veered off the 101 Freeway and plunged into the Eel River, near Leggett, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office announced Monday. They were reported missing on April 8 when they failed to show up for a visit to their relatives' place in San Jose.

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Sarah and Jennifer Hart and their six adopted children were believed to be in the SUV at the time.

"Search divers entered the water and were able to feel what they believed to be a person inside of the vehicle". Five bodies were found March 26 near Mendocino, a few days after Washington state authorities began investigating the Harts for possible child neglect, but three of their children were not immediately recovered from the scene along the shoreline.

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US rescuers find bodies of missing Keralite, daughter