Child's body found in river where Southern California family vanished

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The woman behind the wheel of an SUV that careened off a coastal roadside cliff in Northern California last month, killing her and seven family members, was driving drunk at the time, police said on Friday.

All eight members of the Hart family died when their SUV plunged off a 30m cliff in California.

Beginning in 2008, Sarah and Jennifer Hart faced repeated child abuse allegations from teachers and neighbors as they moved from Minnesota to OR to Washington with their six adopted children.

Toxicology checks also discovered that their spouse Sarah Hart and two of their children needed "a significant quantity" of a component commonly seen in the allergy drug Benadryl, that could make people drowsy. The multiracial Hart family lived together in three states, and officials investigated child-abuse allegations in each, including one that prompted an official from Washington's Child Protective Services to visit their Woodland house right before they drove off for California.

Frkovich said 16-year-old Hannah Hart had fled from her home at 2 a.m and begged his daughter to hide her, according to a recording of the call released on Wednesday by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency in Washington State. Bob Carpenter said it hasn't been determined if the third child also had the same ingredient in their system.

Carpenter explained among those automobile's occupants were wearing seat belts.

Jen and Sarah Hart, both originally from South Dakota, were the adoptive mothers of their six children from Texas.

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The former friend said authorities told her the children had been interviewed and were likely coached in their responses.

CNN reports that it's unclear if any consequential actions were taken after Dekalb's father-in-law made the call to 911, but authorities do suspect the deadly auto crash may have been intentional. 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. Dana DeKalb said she could not immediately comment on Thursday.

On March 23, DeKalb notified the department that she believed the children were being abused, according to media interviews and state records. The 15-year-old made headlines in 2014 after a photographer shot a photo of him hugging a police officer during a protest after the decision was made to not press charges against the officers who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The body was pulled from the water at 10:20 a.m.by Humboldt County Sheriff's Office searchers scanning the river about 7 miles south of where Sandeep and Soumya Thottapilly, their children Siddhant, 12, and Saachi, 9, are believed to have been plunged into its strong current, said Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman.

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

On the second trip, Jennifer Hart and the six children stayed for two weeks without Sarah.

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