Three children in fatal California SUV crash adopted from Colorado County

Three children in fatal California SUV crash adopted from Colorado County

A woman who called OR child welfare officials in 2013 about a woman who last month drove off a California cliff with her family says the household was run "like a regimented boot camp". A relative in San Jose called the city's Police Department on Sunday when the family still had not shown up for a visit that was supposed to take place Friday, police said.

The family members were identified as Sandeep Thottapilly, 41; Soumya Thottapilly, 38; Siddhant Thottapilly, 12; and Saachi Thottapilly, 9.

On Thursday items found in the river revealed that the vehicle sought was the Thottapilly's when relatives positively identified the items as the family's.

It has not been determined if the family lived in Colorado County at the time of the adoptions.

"Searchers located the deceased body of an adult female approximately seven miles north of the reported crash site (Eel River flows in a northern direction)", California's Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.


The rescue teams have been using inflatable boats, river boards and a jet boat with a side scan sonar system and had canvassed 12 miles of the riverbank by Tuesday, the sheriff's office said.

The lost vehicle was reportedly southbound on Highway 101, pulled into a turnout and went over the side and into the river. A powerful storm late last week dropped 2 to 5 inches of rain in the region.

The California Highway Patrol said on Friday that Jennifer Hart, who was driving the SUV that plunged off the cliff in Mendocino County on March 26 carrying her wife and six children, had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.

The bodies of three of the Hart's children were not found in the wreckage.

Long before the crash, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty in 2011 to a domestic assault charge in Minnesota over what she said was a spanking given to one of her children.

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