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Body Found Amid Search for Valencia Family

In the days after officials found personal belongings of a missing Santa Clarita family along a Northern California river, authorities said Friday they discovered a body.

Investigators initially said they discovered the body of a child, but later said a woman’s body was found. The body was found as crews searched for the family along the Northern California river where it is believed they may have been swept away in heavy rains, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said at a Friday news conference.

The Thottapilly family — father Sandeep, 42, mother Soumya, 38, and their two children, son Siddhant, 12, and daughter Saachi, 9 — was driving from Portland, Oregon to San Jose when they disappeared.The driver was pulling into a pullout during heavy rains when the SUV went over the edge, according to sheriff’s officials.

On April 6, a car was reportedly submerged in the Eel River, a little north of the town of Leggett, during heavy rains. A search for the vehicle was called off when it became too dangerous for rescuers. On Tuesday and Wednesday the searchers combed the riverbanks and located the personal items, which were identified as belonging to the Tottapillys by family members. Parts of what appear to be a maroon Honda Pilot — the same SUV the family was in on their road trip vacation — were also found, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Editor’s Note: Authorities initially said they found a child’s body, but later said it was that of a female adult.  This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
Source: NBC San Diego

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