Child's body found in California river where family vanished

Child's body found in California river where family vanished

Before the family was reported missing, authorities were already searching for a vehicle that had been seen falling into the roiling Eel River on April 6. Devonte Hart had made headlines years before the crash when a picture of him hugging a police officer during police-brutality protests went viral.

This June, 2014, file photo shows some of the Hart family at the annual celebration of "The Goonies" movie in Astoria, Ore. But after spending two weeks with the family Argyropoulos said she noticed kindness, love and respect for the children was largely absent.

The crash scene, about 322 km north of San Francisco, was discovered by a passing motorist on March 26.

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. Search teams have been looking for the missing family since then. They later left the state and never registered in local school districts in OR and Washington OR notified authorities they planned to home-school the children.

The mother who intentionally drove her family off a cliff in Northern California in late March was drunk, according to preliminary toxicology reports.




Her wife, Sarah Hart, had a significant amount of the ingredient in Benadryl in her system, as did two of the children, CHP said. Toxicology results for a third child killed are still pending, Carpenter said.

The remains of a girl believed to be among them was found washed up on the banks of an adjacent creek days later, but California Highway Patrol Sergeant Robert Powers said she had not yet been positively identified.

Carpenter said the family stopped in the small town of Naselle, Washington, near their Woodland, Washington, home, during their drive to the California cliff but that investigators are still trying to determine why they stopped there and whether they contacted anyone.

Three of the children were missing, though the body of a girl believed to be one of the missing children was found near the site of the accident last week. Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 39, and three of their adopted children, Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14, have all been reported dead.

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