Sad news. A lesbian couple, Sarah and Jennifer Hart, both 39, along with their children Jeremiah, 14, Abigail, 14, and Markis, 19, were found dead in their SUV after the parents were reported to Child Protective Services.
The other three children – Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12, are still missing. There were no signs of struggle at the scene. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said,
“There were no skid marks. There were no break marks. There was no indication of why this vehicle traversed approximately over 75 feet off a dirt pullout and went into the Pacific Ocean. If this was an intentional act, I truly believe we are going to come to that conclusion. We know that an entire family vanished and perished during this tragedy.”
The family seemed to be going through struggles in recent months.
Both parents were reported to Child Protective Services just days before they died, after one of their child Devonte said to a neighbour he was being punished by his mothers who were not feeding him. He went to the neighbors door over a dozen times according to the neighbors.
Devont was photographed during a 2014 protest in Portland, Oregon, over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting of a black man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. The boy, holding a “Free Hugs” sign, stood crying. A Portland officer saw his sign and asked if he could have a hug, and an emotional Hart embraced him in a picture that was widely shared.
Portland photographer Johnny Nguyen captured the moment and knew he caught more than a hug.
“From a photographer standpoint, you look at the scene. It’s powerful. A white American cop hugging a black American boy.“
Friends described married couple Jennifer and Sarah Hart as loving, inspiring parents who promoted social justice and exposed their “remarkable children” to art, music and nature.
Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to domestic assault charges in 2011. Her plea deal led to the dismissal of a malicious punishiment of a child charge.
But a family friend, Zippy Lomax described them as a “self-supporting unit”.
“They were really radiant, warm, adventurous inspiring people. They were always on some grand adventure, and the kids were living this life that was kind of like this dream.
The family was this very self-supporting unit that was impossible to miss. When they showed up to an event, they made an impression. They shattered a lot of norms and they did not shy away from controversy or adversity.”
A real tragedy. Especially if the parents drove off the cliff intentionally. Still no word on where the other 3 kids, including Devonte are?
UPDATE: Investigators are now saying that the crash that killed a lesbian couple and at least three of their children after their SUV plunged off a California cliff last week was intentional and not the result of an accident.
The acting assistant chief of the California Highway Patrol’s northern division, Greg Baarts, said preliminary data obtained from the SUV’s air bag module suggested the vehicle likely came to a stop at a gravel pullout roughly 70 feet away from the cliff before it accelerated and plunged over the edge.
That plus the fact that there was physical evidence of an accident, such as tire marks, led investigators to believe the crash may have been intentional.
(Photo, YouTube; via Pink News)