(NEW YORK POST) – The speedometer of the SUV that plummeted off a California cliff with two women and at least three of their six kids inside was “pinned” at 90 mph, leading investigators to believe “a felony has been committed,” according to court documents.
The California Highway Patrol found “no acceleration marks, tire friction marks or braking furrow marks” along the stretch of Highway 1 where Jennifer and Sarah Hart and at least three of their children veered off the roadway and fell onto the oceanfront rocks 100 feet below on March 26, reported KPTV Oregon.
There were no witnesses to the wreck, which was discovered by a passer-by the next morning.
Authorities have recovered the bodies of the two women, both 39, and three of the children: Markis, 19, and Abigail and Jeremiah, both 14. While the other three kids, ages 12 to 16, remain officially unaccounted for, deputies believe they were also in the 2003 GMC Yukon XL.
Among those still missing is Devonte Hart, 15, a black teen whose image went viral in 2014 after he was photographed tearfully hugging a white cop at a Portland, Ore., protest of police violence in Ferguson, Mo.
Devonte was also at the center of a much darker chapter in the family’s history, as it was revealed last week that he frequently came to the door of the Harts’ Washington state neighbors begging for food for himself and his siblings because his parents “weren’t feeding them.”
The neighbors called Child Protective Services on March 23, but the Harts refused to answer the door. Hours later, the family packed into the SUV and drove off, never to return.
The incident was just one of several alleged instances of child abuse and neglect by the parents reported to CPS over the years. Last year, one of the daughters came to the same neighbor’s home in a blanket, saying her parents abused her.
And in 2011, when the family was living in Minnesota, Sarah pleaded guilty to assault after hitting their then-6-year-old daughter, leaving the tot bruised.
A search warrant was served at the couple’s home Thursday as investigators looked for insight into the crash, including “possible suicide notes,” according to KPTV. Court documents said California Highway Patrol investigators believe “a felony has been committed.”