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Hart investigation: More questions than answers


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Investigators in California continued their search Thursday for the 3 missing Hart children after the other 5 family members were confirmed dead.

Their 2 mothers — Sarah and Jennifer Hart — and 3 siblings —  Markis, Jeremiah and Abigal — were found dead Monday at the bottom of a cliff off the coast in Northern California.

As of Thursday, there are more questions than answers at this point in the investigation. However, authorities believe the 3 missing kids — Devonte, Hannah and Sierra Hart — were in the SUV at the time it went over the cliff.

The family of 8 was last seen late last week at their Woodland home. A Child Protective Services worker stopped by their house Friday to check in on them after the agency received concerns about the children’s welfare.

According to neighbors, the Hart family left their house shortly after the CPS visit.

A search and rescue team of 9 people and a cadaver dog continued to search the area where the family was found dead. 

California Highway Patrol told KOIN 6 News that they’re unaware of any mechanical problems with the SUV, but are using a specialized team to try and figure out what happened before the car drove over the cliff.

CHP spokesperson Olegario Marin said, “There is different things that they can check, look for anything that might be a clue to tell us what happened to the vehicle.”

During a press conference Wednesday, Mendinco Sheriff’s Office in California said there were no skid marks found at the scene.

According to public records, the Hart family moved to West Linn from Minnesota as early as 2014. In the summer of 2017, they moved to Woodland. Authorities in California said they moved to Washington to get away from attention they received after Devonte’s photo hugging a police officer went viral in 2014.

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