Discovery of Thai Students’ Bodies in Kings River Leads to Signs of Missing San Diego Couple

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A complicated effort to recover the bodies of two missing Thai exchange students who are thought to be trapped in a car that plummeted hundreds of feet into the raging Kings River has just become even more fraught.

Police in Fresno have been working for two weeks to try and retrieve the vehicle, which is stuck in the middle of a fast-moving part of Kings River. (Credit: Fresno County Sheriff's Office)

Police in Fresno have been working for two weeks to try and retrieve the vehicle, which is stuck in the middle of a fast-moving part of Kings River. (Credit: Fresno County Sheriff’s Office)

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office announced this weekend that searchers have found evidence of yet another couple who disappeared recently from Sequoia National Park and may have also driven off the same section of Highway 180.

While watching a TV news clip on the missing Thai couple, a Fresno County search-and-rescue team member spotted a California license plate and car parts in some brush. Days later, the plate was linked to a missing husband and wife from San Diego.

The discovery has triggered a second, parallel investigation in the same area where University of South Florida exchange students Bhakapon Chairatanathongporn, 28, and Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24, are believed to have perished in their red sedan. The wrecked vehicle was spotted July 26 in rapids at the bottom of a treacherous gorge some 500 feet below Highway 180.

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