Recovered vehicle debris and personal items confirm that an SUV seen plunging into a storm-swollen Northern California river belonged to a family that disappeared last week in the same county as the Hart family, authorities said Thursday.
Farther south along the Mendocino County coast, authorities continue to look for members of the Hart family, missing since an SUV made a deadly and possibly intentional plunge off a towering ocean bluff along the Pacific Coast Highway last month. The legal limit in California is.08.
Allman said preliminary reports also show Sarah Hart and two children had the active ingredient in Benadryl in their systems.
Carpenter explained among those automobile's occupants were wearing seat belts.
Long before the crash, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty in 2011 to a domestic assault charge in Minnesota over what she said was a spanking given to one of her children.
The California Highway Patrol developed information that the family were travelling in a family vehicle, a 2016 maroon Honda Pilot. Carpenter said "a lot about this case is unusual ... baffling nearly".
Jennifer Hart, the woman suspected of driving during that crash that killed her, her spouse and at least three of their six adopted children, was drunk at the time of the crash the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office announced today.
"We believe that the Hart incident was in fact intentional", he said.
Carpenter said the family stopped in the small town of Naselle, Washington, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest of their Woodland, Washington, home, during their drive to the California cliff. Naselle is near U.S. Highway 101, a popular, scenic route along the coast. The body of a young woman was found nearby about a week ago, but has not yet been identified.
Mothers Sarah and Jen, both 38, died, as well as their children Markis, 19, Abigail, 14, and Jeremiah, 14.
The shoreline searches conducted on 04-12-2018 by patrol deputies were unsuccessful in locating any of the missing children (Hannah Hart, DeVonte Hart and Sierra Hart) or physical evidence associated with this investigation.
Portland police Sgt. Bret Barnum, left, and Devonte Hart, 12, hug at a 2014 rally in Portland, Ore., where people had gathered in support of the protests in Ferguson, Mo.
A neighbor of the Harts in Woodland, Washington, had filed a complaint, saying the children were apparently being deprived of food as punishment.
"It appears she (Hart) was about 70 feet from the edge and accelerated from there", Carpenter said.
And authorities have said social services officials in OR contacted the West Linn Police Department about the family in 2013 while they were living in the area.
Authorities, who originally had said the body was a child's, anticipate that an autopsy will be performed early next week.