Rescuers searching for missing Kerala family in US find woman's body

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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.

Searchers also found items described as consistent with a family traveling on vacation and unspecified personal items that allowed officials to confirm that the vehicle seen plunging into the river was the Thottapilly's SUV.

"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 woman had not been formally identified but Allman earlier said the body was believed to have been one of the people in the auto. Meanwhile, Sandeep's father Babu Subramaniam Thottapilly took to social media and put out a message to Union Bank stating that his son, who was working as vice-president with the bank, and his family has been missing during their trip to Oregon.

The missing Thottapilly family consists of 42-year-old Sandeep, his 38-year-old wife Soumya and their children, 12-year-old Siddhant and 9-year-old Saachi.

But the river had turned swollen and fast after days of stormy weather, and at first the rescuers were unable to search it.

The search along the south fork of the Eel River is north of where another search has been going on along the Mendocino County coast for members of a family of eight whose SUV plunged off a towering ocean bluff and into the surf line below. Earlier the authorities announced they were able to locate numerous items that appeared to have come from the auto belonging to the missing family.

The family was last heard from in the town of Klamath, Del Norte County, on April 5.

An inter-agency search and rescue team in California also recovered from the river numerous parts of a vehicle, "consistent with a Honda" make.

Argyropoulos says the family's story has spurred her to start a petition calling for a national child abuse registry that would alert states of prior reports of abuse.

Initially ruled an accident, the California Highway Patrol said on April 1, after a preliminary investigation, that the crash now appeared intentional. They were reported missing when they failed to arrive at a relative's home in San Jose for a Friday stopover.

The vehicle, believed to be a newer-model maroon Honda Pilot, went over the edge of Highway 101 at mile marker 95.

It said several items were identified by the family members of those missing.

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