California family disappears after leaving on spring break road trip

Adjust Comment Print

Four members of the Thottapilly family have been missing since last week while traveling from Portland, Oregon, to their home in Santa Clarita, California, the San Jose Police Department said in an email to The Associated Press.

Farther south along the Mendocino County coast, authorities continue to look for members of the Hart family, missing since an SUV made a deadly and possibly intentional plunge off a towering ocean bluff along the Pacific Coast Highway last month. The rain caused the river to swell and to be clouded with mud and debris, Wunderlich said. "Sandeep's brother, Sachin, who lives in Canada, is now in California to help with the search operations", she said.

The Thottapilly family left Valencia, Calif., on March 30, driving more than 900 miles to Portland and stopping at several destinations along the way. "Would request your good office to take up this matter with concerned authorities in United States of America and help find my son and his family as soon as possible", the post read. Police believe the 25-year-old shop assistant was murdered, but her body has never been found. "Rest assured. We will spare no effort", she tweeted. Down, in 2005. The family have campaigned since then to find her body.

The California Highway Patrol responded Friday to reports of a vehicle falling off the side of a steep embankment on the 101 Freeway in Mendocino County, according to the LA Times.

The vehicle is the same kind that the Thottapilly family owned.

Their last known location was the Klamath-Redwood National and State Parks area, roughly 80 kms north of Eureka.

According to reports in the local U.S. media, a search was still underway north of Leggett for an SUV that was swept away with its occupants in flood waters in the Eel River.

"Due to the strong river current, and the poor clarity, the vehicle was unable to be located" on Friday, adding that authorities "have continuously searched and monitored the river in attempts to located the vehicle", with assistance from a CHP helicopter.

William Wunderlich, California Highway Patrol Officer, said that police was still working to find whether the auto was indeed the one that the family was travelling in.

"Based on our preliminary investigation and witness statements, we believe the vehicle was a 2016 or 2017 Honda Pilot maroon in colour", Wunderlich told the news outlet.

Sandeep works as a vice-president for Union Bank, according to his Facebook and LinkedIn pages.