Searchers Believe They Have Located Thottapilly Vehicle; Recovery Efforts Underway
Scanner traffic indicates a vehicle has been found in the water and recovery efforts are underway though officials in charge of the investigation are declining to confirm that is true.Don Roberts, who lives across the highway from the recovery site, said he spoke to one of the personnel and they told him that the vehicle was located in about four feet of water. Rain is coming down though and the river is growing murky which will hamper efforts. The vehicle found today is believed to have been in the water since Friday, April 6 when the maroon Honda Pilot belonging to the Thottapilly family went off Hwy 101 and into the Eel River. Because of the danger of rising water, search and recovery efforts were forced to be put off.
By Monday, rumors washed over social media when the missing Thottapilly family was found to have traveled through the area and was last heard from on the day the vehicle went into the Eel.
By Wednesday a full-scale search was underway with dozens of searchers from multiple different departments and volunteer groups. Throughout the week, the search efforts continued.
On Friday, April 13, a body believed to be that of one of the family was located near Dimmick’s Overcrossing.Yesterday, even more searchers covered an even larger area. The Eel River was dropping fast and the waters began to clear to a turquoise green. But rain was predicted today and the crews knew they were fighting to find the missing family and their vehicle before the river again began to grow murky and the water to rise as rain fell on the region over the next few days. A command post set up at Leggett monitored searchers. Teams scoured the area from Elfin Glen to Benbow and points further north. The teams spent hours in the cold water looking for the missing family. But yesterday’s search was unsuccessful.
However, this morning’s efforts paid off though with the discovery of a vehicle underwater
several miles about a half mile north of the accident site.
Meanwhile, around 2:30 p.m. at Elfin Grove, near the original accident site, a raft with a four-person crew launched into the river. The water continues to grow muddy and the waters are rising.
As of 3 p.m., jet skis are still looking as least as far south as Cooks Valley for the missing.We are awaiting more information and will update as soon as possible.
UPDATE 9:18 a.m. Monday: Bodies of Father and Daughter Recovered With Thottapilly Vehicle
- Vehicle Upside Down in Water by Confusion Hill on 101
- Rescuers Unable to Recover Occupant(s) or Vehicle After It Plunged Into Eel River
- CHP Searched Sunday for Vehicle and Occupant(s) That Disappeared Into the Eel on Friday
- River Still Hasn’t Dropped Enough to Locate Vehicle That Was Swallowed Last Friday
- Dive Teams Sought for Missing People in the Hart Accident off Hwy 1 and the Missing Vehicle That Was Swallowed by the Eel River on Friday
- Multiple Agencies Searching for Vehicle Swallowed by Eel River
- Witness Tells of Vehicle Tipping Onto Two Wheels and Tumbling Over the Bank Into the Eel River Near Confusion Hill North of Leggett; Searchers Scour the River Tuesday
- Motorized Boat and Helicopter Join the Search for Vehicle Submerged in the Eel River
- Relatives of Missing Thottapilly Family Identify Items Found at Eel River Crash Site
- Searchers Believe They Have Found Body of One of the Missing Thottapilly Family