Mother Who Drove Family of 8 Off Cliff Was Drunk

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A "missing" poster shared by friends and family on Facebook identified the Thottapilly family members as 42-year-old Sandeep, 38-year-old Soumya, 12-year-old Siddhanty and 9-year-old Saachi.

The family of four - two parents and two children - was traveling from Portland, Oregon, to their home in Santa Clarita, California, last week when they stopped communicating with relatives.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the California Highway Patrol believes that the driver was pulling over to the side of the road amid heavy rain, and may have miscalculated the edge of the road.

The California Highway Patrol said that witnesses have told them they saw a SUV matching the description of the one owned by the Thottapilly family rolled through a highway pullout, slam into trees as it went down a 150-foot embankment and crash into the swift-moving waters of the Eel River.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Because of the storm, the river was too unsafe for search crews to get in the water until Tuesday, when conditions were deemed safe enough.

Finally, late on Thursday, the highway patrol said there had been no sign of the missing people, but the recovered objects - the vehicle parts and personal items - were confirmed by family members as belonging to the Thottapillys. On the morning of March 25, Jennifer Hart was recorded on surveillance video at a Safeway in Fort Bragg, about 15 miles south of where the family was found dead the next day.

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Searchers are looking for the missing family members and their vehicle which is believed to be submerged somewhere in the Eel River.

The bodies of Jennifer and Sarah Hart were found March 26 inside the family's SUV, which had crashed at the rocky shoreline below a cliff in Mendocino County.

Between the two search days, the Swift Water Rescue Teams were able to cover approximately 12 miles of the Eel river, just north of the town of Leggett in California.

Police identified their vehicle as a maroon or burgundy 2016 Honda Pilot with license plates 7MMX138.

Sheriff deputies and the California Highway Patrol have been working since last week to locate and recover the vehicle.

Sandeep, originally from Kerala, grew up in Surat city in Gujarat and settled down in the U.S. over 15 years ago.

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