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Gas smell led crews to vehicle in river, bodies

17 April 2018

But on Friday, a woman's body has been found in North California river and authorities are suspecting that the body might be the mother Soumya (38) from missing Indian-American family.

The body has been identified as that of 12-year-old Siddhant Thottapilly.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said Monday that a boating team searching the Eel River noticed the fuel odor about half a mile (1 kilometer) downstream from where the crash was reported.

"The searchers began to probe the water and located a vehicle submerged approximately 4-6 feet beneath the water", California's Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said Monday that searchers located the vehicle Sunday and recovered the bodies of 41-year-old Sandeep Thottapilly and 9-year-old Saachi Thottapilly.

Divers then entered the vehicle and felt what they believed was a body inside, though visibility was described as "extremely poor" with the vehicle "encased in a large amount of sediment from the river".

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Recovery efforts continued through the morning, until the vehicle was partially removed from the river about 6:30 p.m.

This provided searchers the ability to conduct a visual inspection of the inside of the vehicle.

The bodies of Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, and Saachi Thottapilly, 9, were found inside, officials said.

To encourage public support and involvement, the Olson Team is asking local residents to send family members or friends into the firm to receive a no obligation quote on insurance, and the team has pledged to make a $10 donation to Unstoppable Kindness for each person who receives a quote.

The family was last heard from in Del Norte County and was reported missing by family members in San Jose on April 8.

Sandeep grew up in Surat city in Gujarat and settled down in the U.S. over 15 years ago.

Gas smell led crews to vehicle in river, bodies