Search and rescue teams in Northern California discovered the body of a woman Friday morning in the area where a Valencia family’s vehicle was seen plunging into the rain-swollen Eel River a week ago, according to Mendocino County officials.
While positive identification is pending, it is believed the body is that of Soumya Thottapilly, 38, who was on a road trip with her husband, Sandeep Thottapilly, 42, and their 12-year-old son Siddhant and 9-year-old daughter Saachi from Portland to San Jose, traveling in their maroon 2016 Honda Pilot SUV.
The Thottapillys were reported missing by other family members on April 8. Search teams have been looking for the missing family since then.
Search teams found debris and personal effects identified as belonging to the Thottapilly family on Thursday.
Here’s the latest from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department:
“On 04-13-2018 at approximately 10:45 a.m. searchers located the deceased body of an adult female approximately seven miles north of the reported crash site (Eel River flows in a northern direction).
“The body was found on exposed terrain which appeared to have covered by the Eel River within the last few days as a result of a recent weather storm which brought heavy rain to the area.
“Identification of the body is pending at this time and an autopsy is anticipated to be conducted on 04-17-2018.
“Searchers are continuing to search for the missing family members and their vehicle which is believed to still be submerged somewhere in the Eel River.”