Father, daughter found in submerged vehicle in Mendocino County's Eel River


Sheriff: Body found after California family's SUV went into riverThe Mendocino County Sheriff says the SUV was found 4-6 feet beneath the water.

Legget Searchers found an SUV and two more members of a missing Southern California family in the Eel River near Leggett, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported Monday.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that they have found the bodies of 41-year-old Sandeep Thottapilly and 9-year-old Saachi Thottapilly after searchers located the SUV on Sunday in the Eel River.

A team of more than 20 searchers found the auto submerged in between 4 and 6 feet (1 and 2 meters) of water, partially removed it from the river using a tow truck and then found the two bodies inside the vehicle, the sheriff's office said.

Last week, the rescue team had found the body of a woman, later identified to be that of Soumya (Sandeep's wife), along with remains of the vehicle and some belongings of the Thottapilly family.

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Sandeep was a Vice-President at Union Bank, while Soumya was a stay-at-home parent.

The body of the fourth family member, 38-year-old Souyma Thottapilly, was recovered Friday about 7 miles north of the crash site in an area that had been previously covered by the river.

Autopsies are expected to be performed this week as part of an investigation into the incident. While searching the vehicle, they felt what they believed to be a person. A tow truck then removed the vehicle, which was encased in a large amount of sediment. Family members last heard from them on April 5 and said it's rare for them not to be in contact.

According to the San Jose Police Department, the family of Sandeep Thottapilly was supposed to have arrived to visit a friend in the San Jose area on April 6 but did not make it as scheduled.

Sandeep Thottapilly's parents, Babu Subramanium Thottapilly and Rama, are preparing to leave for the US, according to a report in the Hindustan Times. They are coordinating with the police.