Body Found Amid Search for Valencia Family After SUV Swept Into River - NBC Bay Area

Body Found Amid Search for Valencia Family After SUV Swept Into River

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Body Found Amid NorCal Search for Valencia Family

    A woman's body was found days after belongings of a missing family were discovered in a NorCal river. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 5 Friday, April 13, 2018.

    (Published Friday, April 13, 2018)

    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 seven miles north of the crash site. 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. 

    Identification was pending an autopsy report. 

    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.