Data from SUV shows plunge off cliff may have been intentional

Camden Dean nine and one-year-old Maxwell Dean died in the crash that left their mother and three-year-old sister Avalon seriously injured

The California Highway Patrol on Sunday said preliminary evidence, including a lack of skid marks at the edge of the Mendocino County cliff, lead them to believe there was intent behind the deaths of Sarah and Jennifer Hart, 19-year-old Markis, 14-year-old Jeremiah and 14-year-old Abigail.

Dana Dekalb, the couple's neighbor, said she called Child Protective Services shortly before the family's crash because she suspected Jennifer and Sara Hart of neglect and mistreatment.

One of the children, Devonte Hart, drew national attention when the black youngster was photographed hugging a white police officer during a 2014 protest in Portland, Oregon, over the deadly police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri.

One of the missing children is 15-year-old Devonte Hart who drew worldwide attention after he was photographed hugging a white police officer at a rally months after the shooting of an unarmed young black man in Ferguson, Missouri.

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 miles per hour, leading investigators to believe "a felony has been committed", according to court documents.

Baarts told the Associated Press that data taken from the vehicle shows the SUV came to a stop in the pullout area next to the highway and then accelerated off the edge of the cliff.

"At this point in our investigation, that is the direction we are going", Baarts said.

The child had told an elementary school teacher of pain in her stomach and back, which was discovered to be caused by bruises. The boy asked her to leave food in a box by the fence for him, she said.

The Woodland Washington neighbor who tried to help the Hart children said word that the crash was likely intentional was not a shock to him.

The couple had six children, however only three of the children's bodies were recovered, according to NBC News.

"At this time it is unknown if the missing children accompanied their parents on the trip to Mendocino County or if they might be staying with friends", Patten wrote.

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 DeKalbs also said that one of Hart's daughters had knocked on their door in the middle of the night a year ago, saying, "we needed to protect her" because the women were "abusing her".

In 2011, when the family lived in Minnesota, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to domestic assault. He said the Harts were a wholesome, loving family who overcame a lot of adversity. But by Saturday, the family's SUV was gone from the driveway, Bruce DeKalb said.

"It started out as one time a day and escalated up to three times a day, until a week went by and we decided that we needed to get professional help". By the next morning, the family and their vehicle were gone.

In 2013, West Linn police generated a report based on a child welfare concern reported to the department involving the Hart Family.

A search warrant was conducted at the family's home in Woodland, Wash., on Thursday, March 29.

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