The vehicle was found near where a car containing two Thai students came to rest after plunging off a cliff in late July.
The passengers were identified as Yinan Wang, 31, of San Diego, and his wife, Jie Song, 32, of China, who were last seen on August 6 at Crystal Caves in Sequoia National Park. The couple had planned to drive to Fresno that night, stay in a hotel and continue on to Yosemite National Park the next day. Their relatives alerted police after they did not hear from them.
The Thais, Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24, and Bhakapon Chairattanasongporn, 28, were students from South Florida University who were on their way to Kings Canyon National Park. They were last seen on July 26.
Their rental car was spotted a few days later but their bodies and the vehicle were only retrieved from King’s River on September 2. At the time, Fresno authorities said any rescue attempt would be unsafe due to bad weather and a strong river current.
During the retrieval of the Thais’ vehicle, a deputy sheriff spotted in a video a licence plate lying in the bush that did not belong to the students’ vehicle.
He checked and discovered later that the plate belonged to the car of a Chinese couple that had gone missing.
On August 12, officials flew helicopters above the canyon and found what appeared to be submerged wreckage. However, due to rapids and high water levels, attempts to access the area were delayed.
On October 5, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying the car had been retrieved. Two bodies were extracted from the wreckage, which was pulled on to a riverbank. After autopsies late last week, the Sheriff’s Office positively identified the bodies as the Chinese couple.
Video of the rescue operation by Fresno County's Sheriff Office
Published : October 09, 2017