FRESNO, Calif. (CBS SF & AP) — Authorities have recovered the bodies believe to be those of a Chinese couple who were in a car that plunged off a cliff in California’s Kings Canyon National Park.

Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said Friday a rescue crew on Thursday successfully extracted the bodies from the Kings River. He says they are presumed to be 31-year-old Yinan Wang and his 30 year-old-wife Jie Song. The couple vanished during an August vacation.

Botti said Friday that a coroner official has yet to positively identify the couple.

“It’s going to be tough to tell on our coroner’s side to determine any medical episodes that the people may have had, because there’s been such a timelapse,” he said.

Authorities believe their car plunged 500 feet over a cliff.

Botti said the priority now if trying to find some answers for the couple’s family.

“They understood the challenges that we faced,” he said of the family’s wait for the recovery of the bodies. “So to be able to give them answers, allow them to hold the service that they deserve to have for their family members, that’s ultimately what we’re after.”

The Ford was spotted as authorities were recovering another car that had plunged into the river earlier. The bodies of two exchange students from Thailand were recovered from that car last month.

Both cars will remain in the river for now. The CHP said removal will depend on how safe it is to remove them.


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