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Body found in ocean near site of Hart family crash

09 April 2018

The Mendocino County Sheriff's office said in a statement that the body on African-American female was found in the surf on Saturday near where the Hart family's van was found on March 26. On Tuesday, Alexandra Argyropoulos, a former friend of the family, told The Associated Press she alerted OR welfare officials about Jennifer and Sarah Hart because she felt they were withholding meals from their six adopted children.

An autopsy is planned for Tuesday.

Authorities are investigating whether a surveillance video from Fort Bragg, California, shows one of the women a day before the SUV was found. California Highway Patrol investigators are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to try to enhance the video. Though authorities have recovered the bodies of adoptive mothers Sarah and Jennifer Hart, and three of their adoptive children, Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14, their three other adoptive children-Devonte Hart, 15; Sierra Hart, 15; and Hannah Hart; 16-have yet to be located.

Officials said they raided the house after they got an anonymous tip over phone on Wednesday.

Family and friends of the Harts told detectives the family traveled together and was rarely apart, the sheriff's office said.

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Last week investigators said the crash may have been "an intentional act", noting that information from the car's software and a lack of brake or skid marks suggests that the van stopped at a dirt lookout and then appears to have been driven directly off the cliff.

Records show that the Hart children were removed from public school in Alexandria, Minnesota the day after Sarah reached a probation agreement in a child abuse case on April 14, 2011.

"I'm leaning to say that this is more of a crime than it is a crash", Allman told FOX12 Oregon.

In 2010, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault involving one of the children, according to Douglas County court records.

Three days before the crash, neighbors had called Child Protective Services after two disturbing encounters with the children. She was sentenced to community service and one year of probation.

Body found in ocean near site of Hart family crash