Woman's Body Found Near Where SUV Plunged Into River With Family

A family of four is missing in California and authorities fear they may have driven into the Eel River while on a road trip

Searchers have found numerous items from the vehicle's body and interior.

The county coroner is working on recovering the body, which Van Patten believed at 1:10 p.m. was still in the water.

This March 20, 2016, file photo shows Hart family of Woodland, Wash., at a Bernie Sanders rally in Vancouver, Wash.

According to the report, one of the now-missing children, Devonte Hart, would sneak over to a neighbor's house and ask for them for tortillas, peanut butter, cooked meat or fruit like apples.

Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman says the body was found Friday morning about 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of where the family's SUV fell into the rain-swollen Eel River last week.

Jen Hart had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, said Olegario Marin, a public-information officer with the California Highway Patrol.

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.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, rescue teams pressed on with a search along the river bank, the highway patrol's local branch in Garberville said.

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The five bodies were recovered days after authorities in Washington State began investigating the couple for possible child neglect. California drivers are considered drunk with a level of 0.08 or higher.

On Thursday, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said it had found belongings of the Thottapilly family, of Santa Clarita, as well as auto parts from their SUV about 14 miles down river from where investigators believe they rolled down an embankment. The vehicle appears to have left a highway for a dirt turnout, then accelerated on that turnout for about 70 feet until it went off the cliff, authorities said, citing data from the vehicle's software and air bag module.

Two more are missing and another body has been found but not identified.

Sarah Hart reportedly also had diphenhydramine in her system.

A woman who reported Devonte Hart's parents to OR child welfare officials almost five years ago is now pushing for the creation of a national child abuse registry. The other three children - Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12 - were not found. Authorities believe the entire family was in the vehicle when it crashed into the rocky Pacific Ocean. The family was reported missing that Sunday.

"How is it in this great country of ours, two mothers with a history of reported child abuse in three states, disclosed by at least six adults, over a ten-year span still have custody of six children?"

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.

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