VALENCIA (CBSLA) – Authorities in Northern California are investigating whether a SUV which was swept away into a river in Mendocino County during heavy rains was carrying a family of four from the Santa Clarita community of Valencia who disappeared last week, according to a report.
The Thottapilly family were driving on a road trip from Portland to San Jose when they lost contact with relatives on Thursday, April 5, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reports.
According to a missing persons bulletin posted by relatives, the family was last heard from near the Oregon-California border, possibly near the Northern California community of Klamath or in the Redwood National and State Parks. They were driving a maroon-colored Honda Pilot, relatives said.
A California Highway Patrol spokesperson told the Signal Tuesday that an SUV matching the description of the Pilot may have been swept into the Eel River off Highway 101 north of the town of Leggett.
“The vehicle was completely submerged in the river due to the heavy rain,” CHP Officer William Wunderlich told The Signal. “We are working on finding the vehicle but we are not able to locate it.”
The missing Thottapilly family consists of 42-year-old Sandeep, his 38-year-old wife Soumya and their children, 12-year-old Siddhant and 9-year-old Saachi.
Saachi attends Meadows Elementary School in Santa Clarita, the Signal reports. Siddhant graduated from Meadows last year.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Tuesday that it was aware of the report and that San Jose police are handling the case.
“We will provide updates when we receive more info,” the sheriff’s department said.