California Highway Patrol investigators appear to be honing-in on the theory that the deaths of a family who plunged off a California cliff in their SUV may have been intentional.
15-year-old Devonte Hart, the boy who gained fame after being photographed hugging a cop during the 2014 Portland protests is believed to have been one of those killed in the crash.
Earlier in the week, Devonte was the subject of a CPS visit after he showed up to neighbors’ homes begging for food for himself and his siblings.
Now the CHP is revealing several facts about the case that seem to lean towards the horror accident being a possible murder-suicide.
Jennifer Jean Hart and Sarah Margaret Hart and at least three of their adopted children were killed after driver, Jennifer Hart careened off a cliff near Highway 1 in the Westport area of Mendocino County on Monday, according to deputies.
Their three other adopted children were believed to be in the car, according to deputies, but they have not been located.
“Based upon the California Highway Patrol investigation, it is their belief ‘a felony has been committed,’” the CHP said in court documents.
The SUV’s speedometer was “pinned” at 90 mph at the time of the crash that killed the Woodland family. Officers indicated the vehicle was “running and in motion” just prior to slamming the rocks below, according to records.
Court documents also show CHP investigators found no “acceleration marks, tire friction marks or braking furrow marks” at the scene, indicating the vehicle was not out of control and no effort was made to brake at the time of the crash.
Investigators said there was no evidence the car collided with the embankment as it “traversed towards the tidal zone below.”
A search warrant affidavit was granted in Clark County in connection with this investigation for items including travel itinerary, bank records, cell phone records, credit card billing statements, bank receipts, notes, journals and possible suicide notes.
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services released a statement Wednesday confirming a case was opened regarding the family last Friday, as “the now-deceased children were identified as potential victims of alleged abuse or neglect.” source