Authorities have revealed the details behind a family that drove off a cliff in California- and give insight into the abuse the family’s adopted children suffered.
Same-sex couple Jen and Sarah Hart had six adopted children, identified as Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; Abigail Hart, 14; Hannah Hart, 16; and Ciera Hart, 12. The sixth child, Devonte Hart, 15, has yet to be found.
The Harts and all but one of their children were found at the bottom of a sea cliff in California after their vehicle had careened off the edge. It is believed that most of them succumbed to injuries caused by broken necks.
According to CBS, Jennifer Hart’s blood alcohol level was .102 at the time of the crash, far above the 0.08 limit in California. Her spouse, Sarah, had a high level of benadryl in her system that was near toxic levels.
The children also had large amounts of drugs in their system, according to authorities.
As police begin to put together the pieces of the case, the “accident” begins to look more like a “murder-suicide.”
The bodies of the family were recovered at different times, with the remains of Hannah Hart turning later than the rest.
The Harts were very politically active, with photographs circulating the internet of the entire family -including children- attending a Bernie Sanders rally in 2016. Two years prior, Devonte Hart was photographed hugging a police officer during race-related protests in Portland, Oregon.
Despite the appearance of a progressive, loving family, the Harts seemingly had a dark side- some of it was public record, while other times the information came from neighbors.
In Woodland, Washington, a neighbor of the Hart family told authorities that the Harts were denying their children food as a form of punishment. When social services went to investigate on March 23, no one answered the door.
In 2013, the couple was investigated by Oregon child welfare officials, and two years earlier, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to a domestic assault charge.
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