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quiversR4hunting

Family SUV plunges off cliff in CA - family from WA

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quiversR4hunting

Anyone read about the family's SVU was found at the bottom of a 100 foot cliff? The parents, Sarah & Jennifer Hart were identified as being dead in the SIV along with 3 kids ages 19, 14 & 14. Missing are children ages 16, 15 & 12. All kids were adopted.

One of the missing kids was thrust in the spotlight 4 years ago at a Portland, OR rally to support police and there is a picture of that boy hugging a police officer. According to the NY Times, the family did live in Oregon (West Linn) and then moved to Washington after the photo was published. The article says they lived in Woodland Washington which is only 40 ish miles North of West Linn.

The Washington State CPS was alerted to abuse allegations and when they went to visit, nobody answered the door.  The neighbor that reported the possible abuse was interviewed in the article. She said recently the kids had been coming to her house asking for food, sometimes many times a day. Devonte, the boy in the news article 4 years ago, said that his mothers would sometimes withhold food as punishment and from going outside. The neighbor also said that when CPS visited the family left hours later.

The SUV was found in California, in Mendocino county. That is nearly 600 miles from Woodland and about an 11 hour drive (per google maps).

The Mendocino sheriff's office said

Quote

We have no evidence and no reason to believe this was an intentional act. Certainly people are wondering what caused this.”

but then said at a news conference on Wednesday that many questions remain such as:

Quote

When did the “accident” occur? Why did the S.U.V. drive across at least 75 feet of dirt before plummeting into the ocean? Why weren’t there skid marks?

Here is the article - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/29/us/family-killed-california.html

Anyone else see this and think all this is odd?

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Puzzled
Fascinated

Yes!  The whole thing sounds extremely odd. They were a homeschooling family, not that that necessarily means anything at all, but it could add credence to the isolation and possible abuse that has been reported. I fear they will determine it was deliberate. 

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quiversR4hunting

I hadn't read that the kids were homeschooled. Which I agree, could lead to more isolation to cover up abuse.

I also assume they will find it was deliberate since there were no skid marks and the large area of dirt to stop prior to the cliff.

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Howl
Posted (edited)

My wild speculation is murder suicide.  Not answering the door to CPS, fleeing their residence, one of the moms with  history of domestic assault.  Then, a history of withholding food, keeping the kids inside, identical T shirts for all the kids, ETA: and now hearing they were "homeschooled" -- does it remind you of a family recently in the news?   

 Really hoping that the kids unaccounted for are staying with friends or were somehow left behind, but sadly, that is not likely the case. 

Edited by Howl
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Howl
Posted (edited)

And then there's this from the article linked by @amandaariesThe victims were not wearing their seat belts.   That's death wish behavior right there. 

And this, from the same article: 

Quote

Court records show that in 2011, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to a domestic assault charge in Douglas County, Minn., a plea that led to the dismissal of a charge of malicious punishment of a child

Yup, too many red flags snapping smartly in the breeze. 

Edited by Howl
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quiversR4hunting

from the Oregonlive article

It says that in 2010 the 6 year old went to school with bruises on her stomach and back (this was in Minnesota). Then the article says:
 

Spoiler
Quote

"Sarah immediately took responsibility for the spanking that occurred the previous day," the criminal court complaint said. Sarah told investigators they normally do not spank their children, according to court records, but said she let her anger get out of control and bent the girl over the edge of a bathtub to spank her, which likely caused the marks on her back and front.

 

what the hell. That sounds as believable as the person with the black eye saying "I ran into a door"

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Spent
FundieCentral

And how, if I may ask, were they allowed to adopt 6 children from backgrounds of abuse and poverty if one of the parents herself has a prior conviction for child abuse???

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quiversR4hunting
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, FundieCentral said:

And how, if I may ask, were they allowed to adopt 6 children from backgrounds of abuse and poverty if one of the parents herself has a prior conviction for child abuse???

I took it as the conviction of abuse in MN was against one of the adopted kids.

Edited by quiversR4hunting
missing words

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hoipolloi

This is a sad, strange story and ITA that there are some red flags.

Do have to wonder if anything substantive will come of the accident investigation. It appears that no one saw the actual incident, just the aftermath with the wrecked vehicle at the bottom of the cliff.

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church_of_dog
57 minutes ago, hoipolloi said:

This is a sad, strange story and ITA that there are some red flags.

Do have to wonder if anything substantive will come of the accident investigation. It appears that no one saw the actual incident, just the aftermath with the wrecked vehicle at the bottom of the cliff.

From what I read, another traveler stopped at that turnout and saw the car at the bottom. It was a few days after they had last been seen up in WA, so depending on their drivng schedule they could have lain there for as much as a few days before being seen.

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Aggravated
Briefly

That sounds so much like a murder/suicide, or maybe both parents decided to die and take the children with them. Maybe to "save them" or some other misguided idea. Those poor kids. I hope the missing kids are with someone else, and that the next report is not that their bodies have been found. That's what I'm seriously afraid of.

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Howl

I'd also have to consider that someone fell asleep at the wheel, but it seems too convenient that it happened at a pullout.  

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Toothfairy
On 3/29/2018 at 3:42 PM, FundieCentral said:

And how, if I may ask, were they allowed to adopt 6 children from backgrounds of abuse and poverty if one of the parents herself has a prior conviction for child abuse???

Sadly, cps makes exceptions. They're also white taking in Black kids. Black kids are hard to place. I'm a foster mom and I've had kids who were abused in foster care by foster parents. It's sad. 

More information is coming out. It's so sad. CPS needs a better system because abuse in foster care is sadly common. The friends of these adoptive parents are making excuses for them and blaming the kids for their deaths 

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nastyhobbitses
On 3/30/2018 at 1:30 AM, Briefly said:

That sounds so much like a murder/suicide, or maybe both parents decided to die and take the children with them. Maybe to "save them" or some other misguided idea. Those poor kids. I hope the missing kids are with someone else, and that the next report is not that their bodies have been found. That's what I'm seriously afraid of.

I'm thinking more an "if I can't control you anymore, nobody can and I'll kill myself too so I don't have to face consequences" situation. Maybe the kids who were of legal/driving/independence age were starting to make noises about leaving or breaking free, or revealing the abuse in a way that couldn't easily be swept under the rug or denied. Or the kids who weren't there had already escaped, and mommies dearest decided to "punish" them in the worst way possible by murdering their siblings (and killing themselves). There have been similar cases to those scenarios (Judith Barsi for "I'll just kill everyone because I know that I'm losing control", John Battaglia for "I'll murder your loved ones to 'punish' you for no longer meekly submitting to my abuse"). 

The lack of skid marks tells me that this was no accident, and I doubt it was an impulsive act. I think this was planned. I think these women dressed up their sick abuse of these vulnerable children in hippy-dippy bullshit, and I'd bet they picked kids from "hard" backgrounds so people would be more likely to dismiss the abuse -- they "deserved" it because they're so "difficult". They need "tough love". They're lying because that's what abused/fucked up kids do for attention. They should be grateful for those two nice savior ladies for taking them in. I'll eat all these words if this turns out to be a tragic accident, but there are too many red flags for me to assume that the multiple abuse charges were all made up by a magical witch with a vegetables-related grudge and they were the best parents ever, and the car got possessed and just magically slid off the road and into the ocean. 

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Howl
2 hours ago, nastyhobbitses said:

Maybe the kids who were of legal/driving/independence age were starting to make noises about leaving or breaking free, or revealing the abuse in a way that couldn't easily be swept under the rug or denied.

Such good points.   Perhaps they realized that one or more of the kids was going to tell CPS what was really going on and it would be game over.  I'm sure their house is being searched.  If so, really hoping at least some of the kids left behind journals or diaries that might shed light on what was really going on. 

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TooTired2bOriginal

Such a disconnect between what family friends are saying.... "joyful" home meaning abuse couldn't have happened, etc. and the whole CPS & previous conviction thing. And I've got to think that if they were a different demographic, the investigators wouldn't be falling over themselves to say how confused they were by a lack of brake marks but that we can't assume it wasn't an accident?!

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Happy
Imaginary_Wonderland

Have the missing kids been found yet? 

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TooTired2bOriginal

No news yet on the missing 3.  Something I noticed early on though was that no one seemed to believe the children, including who the little girl said abused her - instead the other parent took the punishment - certainly that screams DV??   From Oregonelive: "Abigail told authorities that her mother struck her repeatedly with a closed fist, submerged her head under cold water and withheld meals from her for misbehaving, according to report by police in Alexandria, a small town northwest of Minneapolis. Though the girl said Jennifer Hart was the one who hit her, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault."

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hoipolloi
7 hours ago, nastyhobbitses said:

The lack of skid marks tells me that this was no accident, and I doubt it was an impulsive act.

This earlier article from the Daily Fail has a chilling photo of the scene (scroll down) in which it almost seems as though a vehicle accelerated (gouges in gravel) before proceeding to the cliff's edge.

 

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TooTired2bOriginal
33 minutes ago, hoipolloi said:

This earlier article from the Daily Fail has a chilling photo of the scene (scroll down) in which it almost seems as though a vehicle accelerated (gouges in gravel) before proceeding to the cliff's edge.

 

 

One article, not DM, said that there were marks from the digger that had recovered the car on the same day, not any from the car itself.

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PennySycamore

This reminds me a story from Stephen King's Bazaar of Bad Dreams about these two single women friends who are down on their luck and don't see their future changing for the better for their them or for their kids so they slam their SUV into a tree, killing them all.  It's fiction, of course.  (The story is "Herman Wouk is Still Alive" and was inspired by the woman who drove the the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway, hitting an SUV head-on and killing herself, four kids, and the three men in the SUV.  The story is worth reading and so is the preface.  Btw, Herman Wouk is 102 now.  King wrote his story shortly before Wouk's 100th birthday.)

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

There was a case of a mom with her kids driving into a reservoir near here in the summer of 2016, and it took over a year for the sheriff's office to announce that it was intentional ; a murder/suicide. I suppose all the publicity in this case might help law enforcement, or give them extra incentive to hurry a bit more. I hope they find the 3 missing kids soon. 

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Howl

I'm intrigued that the "Tribe" gadded about to this and that gathering,  they lived in a very large and nice looking house, and no article has mentioned anything about the livelihood of either parent. 

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nausicaa
4 hours ago, Howl said:

I'm intrigued that the "Tribe" gadded about to this and that gathering,  they lived in a very large and nice looking house, and no article has mentioned anything about the livelihood of either parent. 

It seems one stayed home full-time and another worked in retail. Which still doesn't explain the standard of living. They probably got SSI payments for the kids but it couldn't be that much, could it?

 

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