A Washington investigator with Child Protective Services requested authorities check in on the children of Jennifer and Sarah Hart hours before their car was found at the bottom of a California cliff in what officials now believe may have been an intentional crash.
In a 911 recording obtained by KOIN, the CPS official explains to the dispatcher that she had attempted to speak with the Hart family on March 23 and again three days later before phoning authorities on March 26.
She’d been investigating “concerns that the children aren’t being fed” after a neighbor reported that 15-year-old Devonte Hart turned up at their home asking for food.
“I’ve knocked on their door twice,” the investigator explains. “Different cars have been moving in and out, I’ve noticed, so I feel like someone’s there.”
The Washington family of eight however, had already begun their tragic trek to California.
Just hours after the 911 call, a German tourist spotted the Hart’s family GMC Yukon crashed at the bottom of a 75-foot coastal cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Investigators found Sarah and Jennifer Hart dead on the scene along with the bodies of three of their adopted children — 19-year-old Markis, 14-year-old Jeremiah and 14-year-old Abigail.
The other three Hart children remain missing, though the body of a young female discovered near the crash site over the weekend could be that of 16-year-old Hannah or 12-year-old Sierra.
An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, though it could take weeks to conclude whether the remains are those of one of the missing Hart girls.
Devonte, who earned widespread attention for an emotional 2014 photo that sees him hugging a Portland police officer, is also still missing more than two weeks after the deadly crash.
Authorities believe all six children were in the vehicle when it plunged off the California cliff.