Woman's Body Found in Norcal River Where Valencia Family Vanished

14 April, 2018, 22:18 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Woman's Body Found in Norcal River Where Valencia Family Vanished

Authorities said they have not positively identified the remains.

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.

The crash scene, about 322 km north of San Francisco, was discovered by a passing motorist on March 26.

Authorities have said that data from the vehicle's software suggested the crash was deliberate, though the California Highway Patrol has not concluded why the vehicle went off an ocean overlook on a rugged part of coastline.

Members of the Hart family pictured at the annual celebration of "The Goonies" movie in Astoria.

A search team found the body about 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of where the family's SUV fell into the rain-swollen Eel River last week, Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman told a news conference in the community of Leggett.

He noted the Yukon had traveled some 23 metres along an unpaved roadside pullout before running off the cliff, leaving behind no skid or brake marks, indicating the vehicle may have been driven off the cliff intentionally. "The legal limit for driving in California is 0.08". But he declined to say precisely how high it was.

Toxicology tests also found that her wife Sarah Hart and two of their children had "a significant amount" of an ingredient commonly found in the allergy drug Benadryl, which can make people sleepy. The vehicle slowed in the turnout, then tumbled into the river, authorities said, noting that visibility was reduced during the storm and the driver may not have seen the embankment. Three of the children were missing, though the body of a girl believed to be one of the missing children was found near the site of the accident last week.

"At this point, certainly, the theory is the child was from this vehicle", Allman said.

The shoreline searches conducted on 04-12-2018 by patrol deputies were unsuccessful in locating any of the missing children (Hannah Hart, DeVonte Hart and Sierra Hart) or physical evidence associated with this investigation. "These items were of a personal nature and will not be described further at this time, but it does confirm the fact the vehicle that was seen going into the river was that of the Thottapilly family".

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