UPDATE: Evidence shows the SUV carrying family was stopped then - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Evidence shows the SUV carrying family was stopped then accelerated straight off cliff.

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UPDATE: California Highway Patrol: Evidence shows the SUV carrying family was stopped then accelerated straight off cliff.

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MENDOCINO, Calif. (AP) -- Police believe a family died when their SUV plunged off a cliff in California.

Authorities in Northern California say they believe all six children from the family were in a vehicle that plunged off a coastal cliff.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allmon told reporters Wednesday that only three bodies of the children have been recovered. Their parents also died Monday.

He says specialized crash investigators are studying the scene for clues, but it's very curious because there were no skid or brake marks. But Allmon says there's no reason to believe the crash was a deliberate act.

The sheriff appealed for the public's help in retracing where the family had been in recent days.

Allmon says a passer-by called 911 about the crash, but investigators don't know exactly when the SUV plunged into the ocean. He says "an entire family vanished and perished during this tragedy."

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