A Los Angeles-based Indian family of four has gone missing after a road trip in the United States and police fear that they might have been swept away by Northern California's Eel River. The family was reportedly traveling from Portland to San Jose and went missing Thursday, April 5.
Sandeep Thottapilly, his wife Soumya, son Siddhant, and daughter Saachi were traveling in a maroon 2016 Honda Pilot with California license plate 7MMX138. The family was supposed to visit a relative in San Jose during the trip, Friday, but didn't show up.
The police now are investigating the case and believe that their car may have plunged into the river as a maroon Honda Pilot was seen submerged in the Eel River. However, the rescue team couldn't establish a connection as the car was swept away by a strong current and never recovered, reported ABC News.
The police later found debris of the vehicle and recognized the make and model of the car, but aren't sure that the family was in it. An investigation is ongoing and fire departments, highway patrol, and a helicopter have also reportedly been deployed for the search operation.
A missing person's report was filed Sunday, April 8.
A small memorial of 4 candles & some flowers sits in front the Thottapilly's #SantaClarita home. The family of 4 disappeared while returning home from a road trip to Oregon. A car matching theirs was seen going over the side of Hwy 101 in Mendocino County.— Leanne Suter (@abc7leanne) April 11, 2018
Latest at 11pm @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/6pl8aTHHY8
After the disappearance, Sandeep's father tweeted to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and sought her help in the matter. "Respected Sushma Swaraj ji, I am a senior citizen and resident of Surat, Gujarat. My son Sandeep Thottapilly is residing in California, USA. He and his family are reported missing since last Thursday," he wrote.
"Would request your good office to take up this matter with concerned authorities in USA and help find my son and his family as soon as possible. requesting your kind cooperation."
Swaraj then assured him that the ministry has already taken up the matter and is working with the police.
He also posted an image of the family and said that Sandeep's family in India had also tried to get in touch with his friends in the US through Facebook.
Sandeep worked as a vice-president with the Union Bank and the family lived in Los Angeles. His father has also written to Union Bank on its Facebook page and said: "This is to inform you that my son and his family have been missing during the trip to Oregon. The complaint in this regard has been registered with the police authorities and they are looking for his whereabouts.
"Till that time I would like to inform you that kindly do the needful from your end to ensure that law authorities are able to track him and his family."