US rescuers find bodies of missing Keralite, daughter

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Searchers yesterday found the body of Siddhant Thottapilly, the last to be found after the family of four went missing.

Searchers on Monday found the body of a 12-year-old boy in a Northern California river - the last of four family members who perished when their sport utility vehicle plunged into the rain-swollen torrent.

Soumya Thottapilly was found in an area previously covered with water from the storm-swollen river.

Cindy Bartley, assistant to Chief Deputy Coroner Shannon Barney, told India-West that the bodies of Sandeep, Soumya, and Saachi are now with the coroner's office. The couple's 12-year-old son, Sidhhanty Thottapilly, remains missing.

Searchers along a northern Mendocino County river recovered the remaining three bodies of a Southern California family that were in a vehicle when it plunged into the South Fork of the Eel River more than week ago, Mendocino County sheriff's officials said.

It was encased in sediment from the river current, but divers were able to feel a person inside.

"At approximately 4 pm on April 16 water searchers located the body of a juvenile male submerged in the Eel River approximately 6 miles north of the reported crash site", the statement said. A tow truck then removed the vehicle, which was encased in a large amount of sediment.

The search team on board a boat had smelt gas below them Sunday, April 15. Almost 20 officers were searching the Eel River with jet skis, boats, and kayaks.

An autopsy is expected to be performed this week as part of the investigation into the incident.

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

After the disappearance, Sandeep's father had tweeted to Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and sought her help.

When the Thottapillys had not shown up on the afternoon of April 8, Soumya's relatives called the San Jose Police Department, Officer Gina Teeporten told India-West. Responding to his message, Swaraj said: "I am in constant touch with our consulate in San Francisco".

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