Friend calls 911 after text from Sarah Hart

Crashes

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A friend of the Hart family called the Clark County 911 dispatcher asking for a welfare check on Sarah Hart on the same day the family’s car was found crashed off a cliff near Fort Bragg, California.

KOIN 6 News has obtained audio from the 911 call, which was placed on Monday, March 26. It sheds new light on the final days of the Hart family.

Sarah, her wife Jennifer Hart, and 3 of their 6 adopted kids were found dead on Tuesday, March 27. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office investigators, along with the California Highway Patrol, are still searching for the three remaining Hart children, Devonte, Sierra and Hannah.  

“She sent out a text message at 3 in the morning on Saturday morning [sic], saying that she was sick, but nobody’s been able to get ahold of her, talk to her, or seen her since that text message,” the friend told the dispatcher.  

The friend added that Sarah said she was unable to go to work and that she thought she would have to go to a doctor. The friend said she had already tried reaching out to area hospitals, which had no record of Sarah seeking treatment, before she placed a call to the Clark County 911 dispatch center.  

The audio below includes a 911 call from a friend before the accident, and a 911 call regarding the Hart Family from November. You can also listen to it on our Soundcloud here.

The text from Sarah to her friend would have come shortly after Child Protective Services first tried to contact the Hart family, unsuccessfully, on Friday, March 23. Neighbors of the Hart family contacted CPS on Friday over concerns that the Hart children weren’t being fed.  

A CPS investigator made a second unsuccessful attempt at reaching the Hart family on the following Monday morning.

Along with the audio above, below is a transcription of the phone call between the friend and dispatchers. Note: The audio and the text have been edited to protect the caller’s private information

Dispatcher: Who are we checking on? 

Caller: Sarah Hart 

D: How are you related to her? 

C: : Just a friend. 

D: Tell me the reason we’re checking on her again. 

C: She sent out a text message at 3 in the morning on Saturday morning, saying was sick, but nobody’s been able to get ahold of her, talk to her, or seen her since that text message. 

D: OK … 

C: or her wife, which is Jen. So we’re just concerned … 

D: when she said she was sick, did she say what was going on? 

C: She just said she is unable to come out, that she wasn’t able to go to work, that she thought she was going to have to go to the doctor.  I’ve checked the hospitals – they didn’t have any record of her. And I think her phone is now dead.  

D: what is her phone number? 

D: Just the two of them live there? 

C: they have six children.  

D: Has she been suicidal at all? 

C: Not that I’m aware of.  

November, 2017

KOIN 6 News also obtained a 911 call from November made to the same dispatcher regarding the Hart family. The caller reported that a child, about 12-13 years old, had “jumped out of the second-story window, on the roof and down onto the ground,” before running to his daughter’s home “begging her to ‘Help her, help her.'” This happened at around 2 a.m., the caller reported. 

“I just can’t live with it,” The caller told dispatchers. “I’m very concerned for these kids … I just can’t let this go any longer. These kids, I think, is in very serious danger.”

An investigation wasn’t made, citing a lack of information. 

Along with the audio above, below is a transcription of the phone call between the caller and a 911 dispatcher. Note: The audio and the text have been edited to protect the caller’s private information

Caller: There’s some kid that I feel is being highly abused. I can’t get … in Woodland, Washington.

Dispatcher: What’s going on there? 

Caller: Well they have four black children, which that part doesn’t matter, but they’re new here from Texas. The other night, the little girl jumped out of the second-story window on the roof and down onto the ground and ran to my daughter. And this was like 2 in the morning, begging her to ‘help her, to help her.’ 

D: When did that happen? 

C: About 3-4 nights ago 

My son-in-law doesn’t want to get involved, but the more I sit on it, I can’t live with it. Somebody’s got to go check on these kids

D: How old was the little kid that ran to your daughter’s house? 

C: About 12 years old, 13. 

And when they came looking for her they were begging my daughter not to let them know she was there. Eventually my son-in-law let them know. They had four of the kids come back later and to say everything was OK and they were all standing at attention like they were just scared to death. I think there’s something very serious going on there. They’re here from Texas – the kids might even be kidnapped. 

D: Did the girl ever say why she was scared? 

C: No she was crying and it was 2 in the morning and my daughter said the biggest problem was she was half-awake, she couldn’t believe what was going on. Basically, my son-in-law is like most people. They don’t want to get involved. He’s keeping my daughter out of it. But since she’s told me about it, I just can’t live with it. I’m very concerned for these kids … I just can’t let this go any longer. These kids, I think, is in very serious danger.

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