Family goes missing in same county where SUV plunged off cliff

Elísabet Eva Gretarsdóttir with her mother

Sandeep and his family, comprising his wife Soumya, and their children Siddhant and Saachi, were on their way from Portland in a maroon Honda Pilot to San Jose, when they suddenly stopped communicating with relatives in Valencia.

Authorities said they have not determined that the vehicle belonged to the missing family, whose SUV had the California license plate 7MMX138. Two days after Gujarat resident Thottapally Babu Subramaniam tweeted to Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, urging her to help locate his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, authorities in the USA are fearing the worst.

Authorities now fear their vehicle went into a rain-swollen river in Mendocino County.

The Thottapilly family was traveling from Portland to their home in Santa Clarita with a stop in San Jose along the way. "Sandeep's brother, Sachin, who lives in Canada, is now in California to help with the search operations", she said. Would request your good office to take up... this matter with concerned authorities in U.S. and help find my son and his family as soon as possible. requesting your kind cooperation.

Replying to this message, Sushma Swaraj tweeted: "I am in constant touch with our Consulate in San Francisco".

When emergency personnel arrived, the vehicle was submerged, and the strong current and poor clarity hampered search efforts, police said.

Despite repeated appeals, her body has never been found.

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On Friday, the California Highway Patrol said, authorities received a report of a vehicle leaving Highway 101 and descending a steep embankment as torrential rain fell in the area, which is populated by two state parks.

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

CHP says there's no way to know if it was the Thottapillys SUV that plunged into the river.

The notice reads: "We lost contact with them on April 5".

Their last known location was the Klamath-Redwood National and State Parks area, roughly 80 kms north of Eureka. "We are working on finding the vehicle but we are not able to locate it". CHP Public Information Officer William Wunderlich from the Garberville office said there are similarities between that vehicle and the family's auto, including the color.

The family's vehicle was a maroon or burgundy 2016 Honda Pilot.

The father of Sandeep Thottapilly reached out for help from Union Bank, where he says his son is the vice president.

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