Search continues for missing family


MENDOCINO, Calif. (KAEF/CNN) – Authorities are searching for a family from Portland, Oregon that went missing while on their way to California.

CHP said on April 6th a witness saw a car go over this ledge and topple down into the eel river below. And they worry it could be the one driven by the missing Thottappilly family.

A friend said the Thottappillys were driving home to Southern California from a trip to Oregon.

But family said when they failed to show up for a scheduled stop in San Jose on Friday, they filed a missing persons report.

Tire marks and broken branches indicating the accident reported at 1:30 that same afternoon.

CHP Lieutenant Randy England said, “We’re not going to jump to any conclusions until we have substantial evidence that they’re one in the same.”

Lt. England said nothing has been confirmed, but there is reason to believe the crash reported in Leggett could be related to the missing family.

“We know the situation, the timeline’s similar,” Lt. England said. “We have found some vehicle parts, we believe it to be a Honda 2016-2017 vehicle.”

The family was traveling in a 2016 maroon Honda Pilot and the Mendocino County Sheriff says the vehicle that reportedly crashed hasn’t been seen since.

High-water levels over the weekend delayed the search by boat until Tuesday.

Lt. England explained, “That’s the biggest issue we’re dealing with right now because of the river currents, the lack of water clarity.”

Family traveled to Leggett to watch search and rescue efforts. “They believe the situation, it’s one in the same,” Lt. England said.

Local law enforcement saying they hope to locate the vehicle before the next storm causes water levels to rise once again.

“We’re doing everything we can to recover the vehicle and determine what happened here,” Lt. England said.

The Mendocino County Sheriff said search and rescue teams will continue looking for the missing vehicle.

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