Crash that Killed Family May Have Been Intentional

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Devonte, 15, and his two sisters, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12, who were also riding in the auto during the incident, remain missing. "This is all based on preliminary information". Three of the children are still missing but feared dead.

The crash killed Washington state married couple Jennifer and Sara Hart, as well as three of their adopted children; 19-year-old Markis Hart, 14-year-old Jeremiah Hart and 14-year-old Abigail Hart.

The Hart family gained attention in 2014 after one of the children, Devonte, was photographed crying in the arms of a white police officer at a protest after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Acting Assistant CHP Chief Greg Baarts said investigators couldn't determine which woman was driving.


The family of eight whose SUV plummeted off a cliff in Northern California appears to have happened intentionally according to reports from Mendocino police on Sunday.

A state caseworker went to the Harts' house in Woodland, Washington, on March 23 but didn't find anyone home, officials said.

The bodies of their three other children, Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, and Sierra, 12, were not recovered, but officials have said they believed all the children were in the vehicle and the other bodies may have been washed into the ocean. He said his parents would withhold food as a punishment tactic. Authorities believe at least one felony was committed but Van Patten declined to specify.

The boy, who like his siblings was being home-schooled, had asked that the couple leave food in a box by a fence for him, the couple told CBS News.


Clark County Sheriff's Office obtained a searched warrant Thursday to retrieve items such as computers, credit cards, and bank statements to help the ongoing investigation for a probable cause. "They were always on some grand adventure, and the kids were living this life that was kind of like this dream". However, no skid marks or brake marks were found at the scene.

"Jen and Sarah really were the kind of parents that I think the world desperately needs", friend Zippy Lomax told KOIN.

The wreckage was spotted on March 26 by a passing motorist. Searchers are still looking for three more children believed to have been in the vehicle when it went over a scenic coastal overlook and landed on rocks in the Pacific Ocean below. The Department of Social and Health Services had no prior history with the family, said Norah West, an agency spokeswoman.

And earlier this month, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services opened a Child Protective Services investigation which identified the Hart children as "potential victims of alleged abuse or neglect".


Authorities are still searching for the remaining three siblings - 16-year-old Hannah, 15-year-old Devonte and 12-year-old Sierra - but have said they believe they may have also been in the auto at the time of the crash.

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