However, the California Highway Patrol has not concluded why the vehicle went off an ocean overlook. This week, water levels have subsided enough to allow for a more concentrated search, the sheriff's office said. A specialized team of accident investigators is trying to figure that out with help from the FBI, Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the family stopped in the small town of Naselle, Washington, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest of their Woodland, Washington, home, during their drive to the California cliff.
The 100-foot (31-meter) drop killed the women, both 39, and their children Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14.
The Thottapilly family, Sandeep, his wife Soumya, 38, and their two children, 12-year-old Siddhant and his 9-year-old sister Saachi, embarked on a trip to Portland, Oregon from their Valencia residence on March 30.
The family was officially reported as missing to the San Jose Police Department on April 8. Sarah Hart reportedly also had diphenhydramine in her system.
Authorities discovered the body of a child near where a Valencia family's van might have crashed in Northern California, officials announced Friday.
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There were no skid marks at the scene, Carpenter said.
It said several items were identified by the family members of those missing. A worker visited the home March 23 and he said the Hart family packed up and left soon after.
The children's adoptive parents, Jennifer and Sarah Hart, and three of their siblings were confirmed dead after the crash, police said.
In 2010, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault involving one of the children, according to Douglas County, Minnesota, court records.
"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", the California Highway Patrol said.
They were last heard from the day before authorities received reports of a maroon Honda Pilot - the same color and make of the Thottapillys' SUV - submerging into the swollen river along US Highway 101 north of Leggett, according to local media reports.