FRESNO, Calif. — The Latest on the recovery of a car and two bodies from a the Kings River in Central California (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Authorities have freed two bodies from a car lodged for over a month in the middle of a California river. They are believed to be two exchange students from Thailand.

Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that the remains pulled from deep within a river gorge have been sent to the coroner’s office for a positive identification.

On July 26, a car rented to the students crashed over a 500-foot (152-meter) cliff into the Kings River 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Fresno.

Authorities waited until the raging river calmed so it was safe for the recovery team.

Botti says it has been a trying time for the students’ relatives.

He says it’s the department’s goal to have the remains returned to the families for proper funeral ceremonies.


11:30 a.m.

California authorities say they’ve recovered a car stranded in a raging river for more than a month believed to hold the bodies of two exchange students from Thailand.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told the Fresno Bee on Friday (http://bit.ly/2gq1SjV ) that a recovery team used a hoist to drag the car ashore. They’ll next remove the bodies.

Authorities say on July 26, the car crashed off a 500-foot (152-meter) cliff and plunged into the Kings River in central California.

They say that only now has the dangerous river calmed enough to make the attempt safe for the recovery team.

Mims says a helicopter lowered the team members, who pulled the car 100 feet (30 meters) from the middle of the river.

Mims briefed relatives of the crash victims who traveled to California.


12 a.m.

Authorities will attempt to recover two bodies from a car that plunged off a cliff more than a month ago in central California and became lodged in a dangerous river.

Officials say they believe the two dead are vacationing exchange students from Thailand.

Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says Friday’s recovery attempt comes as the river raging with mountain snowmelt has calmed enough to be safe.

Authorities say that on July 26 the car drove off the road and crashed 500 feet (152 meters) below into the Kings River. Investigators linked the car with the students, who never returned from their trip into the mountains.

Authorities say they will revisit the scene for a second car submerged in the river nearby and believed to hold a missing Chinese couple.