Authorities say a body has been found floating near a Northern California cliff where an SUV assumed to be carrying a family of eight was tragically driven off the scenic Pacific Coast Highway.
Immediately after the crash was discovered nearly two weeks ago, investigators located five bodies from the family members assumed to be inside the wreck. Three children were not in the vehicle, but investigators believe they had been, setting off an extensive search.
The Washington Post reports that after the body was found Saturday, authorities may finally have a lead.
From the Post: A couple vacationing near the coast spotted the body floating in the surf not far from the crash site on Saturday afternoon, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said. A third bystander pulled the body onto the beach. Authorities have yet to identify the body, which they described as that of a female African American.
The report continues: A local fire department had patrolled the area an hour before the tourists spotted the body. The sheriff’s office said it was likely that a storm passing through Northern California had caused the body to drift closer to the beach.
Authorities believe the crash was intentional, the family leaving their home and some belongings and pets behind in Woodland, Wash. to reach Westport, Calif., where their 2003 GMC Yukon LX was found at the bottom of a cliff.
Since the crash, stories of alleged abuse have emerged, dating several years back.
After searching the family’s home, bank and credit card statements and phone records, investigators have not said what may have led to the deaths, but they say they have not found suicide notes.