It’s been six days since Sandeep Thottappilly, his wife Soumya and their two children – Siddanth and Saachi – went missing while on a road trip from Portland, Oregon, back to their home in California. A missing persons report has been filed and their family back in India is besides themselves with worry.
Sandeep is a Vice-President at Union Bank, while Soumya is a stay-at-home parent. His parents are based out of Surat, in Gujarat, while Soumya’s family stays in Kochi.
Sandeep and family was in a maroon Honda Pilot with a California registration plate (7MMX138) and had last got in touch with their family in Surat on Thursday. Speaking to TNM, Sandeep's paternal aunt, who also lives in Surat, said that the couple’s friends and relatives had launched a search operation of sorts to find the family.
"We believe that the law enforcement agencies are looking for Sandeep and family, but they haven't communicated anything to us till now. His friends in the US are also searching for him. Sandeep's brother, Sachin, who lives in Canada, is now in California to help with the search operations," she said.
According to the family, the last known location of Sandeep was in Redwood National and State Parks in northern California.
"We hear there was heavy rain there at the time they were there," Sandeep's aunt added.
Sandeep’s family has appealed for help on social media in a bid to find their son and his family.
His father Babu Subramaniam Thottappilly took to Facebook to share ‘missing’ posters to spread the word.
The San Jose police told Kron4.com that Sandeep and family were supposed to visit a friend in San Jose on April 6, but the family did not turn up. They have been incommunicado since April 5.
The California Highway Patrol confirmed to Kron4.com that an SUV traveling on Highway 101 near Garberville plunged into the Eel River on Friday and that preliminary investigation revealed that the SUV was a maroon Honda Pilot.
Responding to Babu's tweet seeking government intervention, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that she was in touch with Indian Consulate in San Francisco. "They are coordinating with the Police. Rest assured. We will spare no effort. I have asked for a report from our Consul General in San Francisco," she tweeted.