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Items belonging to missing family found in river amid search for bodies

Items belonging to missing family found in river amid search for bodies

Wife Sarah Hart and two of the dead children had "an ingredient that's commonly found in [the over-the-counter allergy medication] Benadryl", in their systems when they perished, but it's not clear what authorities are making of that finding, the captain added.

Below is the famous photo of Devonte Hart. Medocino County Sheriff Thomas D. Allman said today the vehicle pulled onto "a dirt pullout" before stopping 70 feet from the edge and then producing "just acceleration, until they went over". Investigators have said they believe the missing children were inside the vehicle at the time of crash.

The mother who intentionally drove her family off a cliff in Northern California in late March was drunk, according to preliminary toxicology reports. The office was still waiting on toxicology results from a third child. Debris at the accident site and other material found along the riverbanks also was consistent with that vehicle, officials have said. They later left the state and never registered in local school districts in OR and Washington OR notified authorities they planned to home-school the children.

Investigators have not come up with a motive but say it appears the incident was intentional, The FBI is deploying their Behavioral Analysis Unit to assist and try to understand what happened.




The body of a young woman was found nearby about a week ago, but has not yet been identified. The women had adopted two sets of siblings - the first (Markis, Abigail and Hannah) in 2006 and the second (Devonte, Jeremiah and Sierra) in 2009. Five bodies were found March 26 near Mendocino, a few days after Washington state authorities began investigating the Harts for possible child neglect, but three of their children were not immediately recovered from the scene along the shoreline.

Searchers also found items described as consistent with a family traveling on vacation and unspecified personal items that allowed officials to confirm that the vehicle seen plunging into the river was the Thottapilly's SUV.

Long before the crash, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty in 2011 to a domestic assault charge in Minnesota over what she said was a spanking given to one of her children.

A neighbor of the Harts in Woodland, Washington, had filed a complaint, saying the children were apparently being deprived of food as punishment.