ReportedBy Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
|Devonte hart huggin a policewoman years before and the laying crushed at end of prescipice|
Three children remain missing and so many questions persist in the mystery of how the Hart family's SUV ended up at the bottom of a 100-foot Mendocino, County, California, cliff.
The few details that have emerged paint what appear to be dark months, and perhaps years, for Jennifer and Sarah Hart's six adopted children, who repeatedly accused their mothers of abuse, according to reports from neighbors and a social worker.
How Harts isolated kids to hide abuse
The home-schooled kids complained specifically of being denied food and of racist behavior, according to a case report. Jennifer and Sarah Hart were white. Their children were black.
In their final days, the family members left their home in Woodland, Washington, and headed south. Little is known of their seemingly hasty departure -- or of the following days -- but the latest details speak to a possibly disturbing demise for the children.
Before the SUV was found at the bottom of the cliff off US Highway 101 on March 26, Jennifer Hart's blood-alcohol content was over the legal limit to drive and some of the children were sedated when she, possibly intentionally, got a 70-foot start and accelerated off the cliff without breaking, according to police, which is investigating the crash as a crime.
Here is what is known of their last days:
Authorities pay visit
There had been reports of abuse in the past, and neighbor Bruce DeKalb says he heard firsthand from the children allegations that the mothers were withholding food and mistreating the children, who the Harts adopted in Texas.
A few weeks before the deadly crash, 15-year-old Devonte began asking DeKalb for food, saying his mothers were punishing him by withholding meals, the neighbor said. It began as a once-a-day event but soon escalated and he was stopping by three times a day, he said.