A lesbian couple who adopted six children have died alongside three of their children after their car plunged off of a cliff in California.
Sarah and Jennifer Hart, along with their children Jeremiah, 14, Abigail, 14, and Markis, 19, were found dead in their SUV after the parents were reported to Child Protective Services, reports LGBTQ Nation.
The other three children – Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12, are missing and were not located in the vehicle, which plunged with no signs of struggle, according to Mendocino County police.
“There were no skid marks. There were no break marks,” Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said.
“There was no indication of why this vehicle traversed approximately over 75 feet off a dirt pullout and went into the Pacific Ocean.”
“If this was an intentional act, I truly believe we are going to come to that conclusion.
“We know that an entire family vanished and perished during this tragedy,” he added.
It became clear in recent months that the family were experiencing struggles in the family.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 39, were reported to Child Protective Services just days before they died, after one of their child Devonte said to a neighbour he was being punished by his mothers who were not feeding him.
The neighbour also reported that another of the children came to their home at 1:30 a.m. in 2017 asking for their “protection.”
Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to domestic assault charges in 2011. Her plea deal led to the dismissal of a malicious punishiment of a child charge.
“If this was an intentional act, I truly believe we are going to come to that conclusion,” added the Sheriff.
However, a family friend has vouched for the family, and described them as a “self-supporting unit”.
“They were really radiant, warm, adventurous inspiring people. They were always on some grand adventure, and the kids were living this life that was kind of like this dream,” family friend Zippy Lomax said.
“The family was this very self-supporting unit that was impossible to miss. When they showed up to an event, they made an impression. They shattered a lot of norms and they did not shy away from controversy or adversity.”