MORE: Witness recalls SUV matching missing Valencia family's vehicle flipping into Eel River The family was scheduled to arrive to visit a friend in the San Jose area on April 6 as a strong storm dumped rain on Northern California, but never showed up, authorities said.
Officials later learned it matched the description of the Thottapilly's maroon Honda Pilot. The family was officially reported as missing to the San Jose Police Department on April 8.
On the day of the reported crash, a search and rescue dive team was dispatched, but the crews weren't able to search because a storm had caused an unsafe height and current in the river, the county sheriff's office said. Their last known location was near Klamath near the OR border. Officers found a part from a maroon Honda Pilot, the same type of SUV the family was driving, but did not definitively say it was from their vehicle until Thursday. They were last heard from in the town of Klamath on April 5 and reported missing by relatives three days later when they did not show up for a scheduled visit in San Jose.
On Wednesday, search teams located parts of what may have been the family's Honda Pilot along the banks of the Eel River.
On Tuesday, the Garberville office of the California Highway Patrol established a multijurisdictional search team.
The Swift Water Rescue Teams conducted a bank search as well as some limited "probing", a technique using a long pole being probed underwater to see if the vehicle or anything metallic could be located. The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office also aided in the search with the use of their jet boat with side scan sonar system. "Several items have been positively identified, by the family members, as belonging to the Thottapilly family", it said.
Authorities responded to the river, but while they were unable to search the river at the time due to the weather conditions, they recovered a auto part that came from a maroon Honda Pilot, according to the CHP. Debris at the accident site and other material found along the riverbanks also was consistent with that vehicle, officials have said.
While the auto and the missing family have still not been found, the crews recovered vehicle parts and some of their personal items.
The personal belongings of a Santa Clarita family of four missing since last week have been found in a Northern California river, authorities said.
The vehicle had not been located till the filing of this report. "Through the collaborated efforts of all the involved agencies we are working to resolve this incident as quickly and safely as possible".
A joint Press Conference of the California Highway Patrol and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office will be held at the Leggett Cal FIRE Station, 69310 North Highway 101 Leggett, at noon on 4/13/2018 to answer any press related questions related to this investigation.