California woman who drove family off cliff was drunk: sheriff

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Argyropoulos says the family's story has spurred her to start a petition calling for a national child abuse registry that would alert states of prior reports of abuse.

Carpenter said the family stopped in the small town of Naselle, Washington, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest of their Woodland, Washington, home, during their drive to the California cliff.

The body was found as crews searched for the family along the Northern California river where it is believed they may have been swept away in heavy rains, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said at a Friday news conference.

A witness told investigators they saw a maroon SUV, possibly a Honda Pilot, crash into the river north of Leggett around 1:10 p.m. April 6, the CHP said. The bodies of three of their children - Markis, 19, Jeremiah, 14, and Abigail, 14 - were found nearby.

The bodies of three of the Hart's children were not found in the wreckage. The other three children - Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12 - were not found. Authorities believe the entire family was in the vehicle when it crashed into the rocky Pacific Ocean.

Police also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was sending its Behavioral Analysis Unit to study cellphone data recovered from one of the family members' phones showing the Hart family's travel information. California Patrol Capt. Bruce Carpenter said Friday, April 13, 2018, that toxicology tests found Jennifer Hart had an alcohol level of.102.

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He faces charges of reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor for what some are calling a " fight club ". Ryan Avery Fish, 23, was arrested on Thursday for supervising a " fight club " at the school he taught in.

It said several items were identified by the family members of those missing. The neighbors said the children complained to them about being mistreated by their parents and asked for food, saying their parents withheld meals as punishment. A worker visited the home March 23 and he said the Hart family packed up and left soon after.

Sarah and Jennifer Hart, both 39, and their six adopted children were believed to be in the vehicle at the time.

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

On April 6, a auto was reportedly submerged in the Eel River, a little north of the town of Leggett, during heavy rains.

The Hart family did not wear seatbelts at the time of the crash.

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