US: Indian family missing; authorities fear vehicle crashed into river
An Indian family of four was reported missing in the US state of California while on a road trip and authorities are fearing for the worst after an SUV matching their vehicle was believed to be swept away by a flood-swollen river, according to a media report. The Thottapilly family, from Kerala, went missing on Thursday while traveling from Portland to San Jose.
Search continues for a maroon Honda Pilot
The search continues for a maroon Honda Pilot that went down an embankment on Friday near Dora Creek, about five miles north of Leggett. The vehicle is the same kind that the Thottapilly family were driving on a road trip from Portland, Oregon, back to their home in the southern California city of Valencia, with a planned stop to see relatives in San Jose.
Relatives last heard from the family on Thursday
A notice posted on Facebook stated that relatives last heard from the family on Thursday, and reported them missing over the weekend after they did not show up for their planned Friday visit. The San Jose Police Department confirmed that a missing persons' report was filed on Sunday involving the Thottapilly family. Their last known location was the Klamath-Redwood National and State Parks area.
SUV matching that description went off the roadway on Friday
After an SUV matching that description went off the roadway on Friday near Dora Creek, first-responders and rescue crews arrived to find the vehicle "was completely submerged in the Eel River" amid heavy rains, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said.
Due to strong river current, vehicle couldn't be located: CHP
"Due to strong river current, poor clarity, the vehicle was unable to be located. Authorities have continuously searched and monitored the river in attempts to locate the vehicle with assistance from a helicopter," said CHP. CHP Officer William Wunderlich told Santa Clarita Valley Signal affirmed that the vehicle they're searching for is similar to the one the family was last known to be driving.
CHP Official unable to confirm if the vehicle is same
"Based on our preliminary investigation and witness statements, we believe the vehicle was a 2016 or 2017 Honda Pilot maroon in color," Wunderlich told the news outlet. "This vehicle and the missing person's vehicle are similar but, at this time, we are unable to confirm its the same vehicle," the official added. The Signal reported that the family is from Valencia.