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Local News

Hart Family Crash Being Treated As More Than Just A Crash Scene

Sheriff Allman said, “The scene is certainly in between being a crash scene and a crime scene, because I think we’re waiting for a lot of information to come in.”


The bodies of Jennifer and Sarah Hart were found on March 26, along with the bodies of three of their six children, inside the family's SUV, off a cliff near Westport. Their three other children, Devonte, Hannah, and Sierra, believed to have likely been in the car at the time, are still missing. 


A large-scale search and rescue operation for the three missing children continued Wednesday, with about 80 search and rescue personnel combing the surrounding area. These searches were unsuccessful. 


CHP has released a fuller timeline of the Hart family's movements before the fatal crash. They are believed to have traveled from their Washington home, down Hwy 101 through Oregon and Legget, and then along Highway 1 to Fort Bragg, on March 24, where they remained. CHP released an image from surveillance cameras of Jennifer Hart at a Safeway in Fort Bragg on the morning of March 25. The car was discovered off the cliff 15 miles North the following day, in what investigators have reason to believe was an intentional act. 


Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault involving one of the children in 2010 in Minnesota, and most recently a child welfare investigation in Washington State was opened just 3 days prior to their bodies being found at the bottom of the cliff. 


Authorities have identified Jennifer Hart as the driver. No one in the car was wearing seatbelts.


Hope McKenney reports.