Missing family’s SUV went into water near the site of Hart family fatal plunge

A family of four is missing in California, and their car may have gone into a river in the same area where the Hart family drove over a cliff two weeks ago.

The Press Democrat reports that witnesses saw a Honda Pilot SUV pull into a turnout on Highway 101 before going over a riverbank and into the Eel River in Mendocino during a rainstorm on Friday. The vehicle matches the description of an SUV owned by the missing Thottapilly family.

Sandeep and Soumya Thottapuilly and their two children, 12-year-old Siddhanty and 9-year-old Saachi, were reported missing on Sunday when they did not return to their home in San Jose, California, from a road trip to Portland, Oregon, on Friday as expected.

Northern California has been battered by heavy rainstorms in recent days, causing rising water levels. According to the Press Democrat, the water conditions have been too dangerous for divers to search in the river, but Mendocino County Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney said that a search and rescue effort would begin as soon as conditions allow.

“We don’t even know where the car is. With that kind of force in the water it could be way down river,” Lt. Barney told the newspaper.

On March 26, the SUV Jennifer Hart was driving went over a cliff into the Pacific Ocean in what police believe may have been a murder-suicide. Jennifer, her wife Sarah Hart, and three of their adopted children — Jeremiah, Markis, and Abigail — were all killed. Devonte Hart, Sierra Hart, and Hannah Hart are still missing, and the body of an African-American female was found near the site of the crash over the weekend. Police have said it may be weeks before they can identify the body.


[Feature image: Thottapilly Family/Facebook]