Bodies Recovered From Kings River Confirmed to Be Those of Missing Thai Students

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Two bodies pulled from a mangled car that had been trapped for weeks in the middle of a treacherous Kings River gorge in Central California were confirmed to be those of two missing Thai students, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials executed a recovery operation on Sept. 1, 2017, to extract two bodies from a 2016 Hyundai Sonata that has been stuck against a rock since late July. (Credit: Fresno County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue)

A recovery operation on Sept. 1, 2017, extracted two bodies from a 2016 Hyundai Sonata stuck in Kings River since late July. (Credit: Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue)

The bodies of University of South Florida exchange students Pakapol Chairatnathrongporn, 28, and Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24, were recovered Friday and identified through fingerprints over the long weekend, said sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti.

The car, a red Hyundai Sonata, had plummeted 500 feet after plowing through a guardrail on Highway 180 on July 26, authorities said. Since then, the smashed vehicle has rested on a pile of boulders amid raging waters.

Search-and-rescue crews from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office pulled the sedan to the riverbank Friday, then retrieved the bodies from the car, Botti said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.