Five bodies were found March 26 near the small city of Mendocino, a few days after Washington state authorities began investigating the Harts for possible child neglect, but three of their children were not immediately recovered from the scene. At a press conference on Friday, the Coroner originally said that the body was that of a child but later said that it was an adult female.
Searchers are looking for the missing family members and their vehicle which is believed to be submerged somewhere in the Eel River.
Police had previously said they believed the Hart family died in a suicide plunge from a scenic overlook.
Sandeep, 41, Soumya, 38, Siddhant, 12, and Saachi, 9, and their maroon Honda Pilot have been missing since last Thursday, the last time they were seen or heard from, according to the CHP.
Meanwhile, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol, Garberville Area Office, are continuing their efforts along the South Fork of the Eel River, just north of the town of Leggett California, to locate and recover a vehicle that was reported to have been submerged in the river on around 1:10 PM on Friday, April 6.
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.
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The lost vehicle was reportedly southbound on Highway 101, pulled into a turnout and went over the side and into the river.
Sandeep Thottapilly and family.
Greg Van Patten said that rescue searchers came upon a body as they were looking for a vehicle seen going into the Eel River last week, which matched the description of the Thottapilly family auto.
The office further shared: "Some of these items were consistent with a Honda vehicle".
And authorities have said social services officials in OR contacted the West Linn Police Department about the family in 2013 while they were living in the area.