Search team

Search and rescue participants meet prior to beginning a search for Hannah, DeVonte and Sierra Hart, three of six children unaccounted for after the rest of their family was found dead in or around an SUV that was found in the ocean off of the California cliffside March 26.

Photo courtesy Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office

The ongoing search for three missing siblings of a Woodland family turned up something over the weekend as a body was recovered from the surf of the pacific ocean.

According to an April 7 report by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office at about 2 p.m. that day California Highway Patrol received a call about a found body in Westport, California near Highway 1 — in the immediate vicinity of the March 26 crash that took the lives of at least parents Sarah and Jennifer Hart along with three of their children: Markis, Abigail and Jeremiah.

According to the report, it was a vacationing couple that first discovered the body, with a third bystander pulling the body to shore. The Westport Fire Department responded to the scene where an hour before they had done a sweep but did not find anything. 

As of the report, the body appeared to be of an African American female but an age or positive identity could not be determined. An autopsy was planned to be conducted April 10, as of press time.

The discovery follows the ongoing search for three of the Hart’s still-missing children: Hannah, DeVonte and Sierra Hart.

 On April 3, a search and rescue operation featuring more than half a dozen agencies launched in an effort to find the three missing children following the discovery of a crashed SUV in the ocean off of the California cliffside March 26.

Approximately 71 searchers representing eight agencies are taking part in the search, the release stated. The search will focus from Noyo Harbor to the MacKerricher State Park, based on analysis by the U.S. Coast Guard, and a further search will be conducted from the crash site with focus to the south of that location. 

As of the release it was unclear if the missing children were inside the vehicle during the incident which left parents Sarah and Jennifer Hart along with three of their children, Markis, Abigail and Jeremiah Hart, dead. 

In a press conference April 1 California Highway Patrol said software data from the SUV indicated that the crash off of Highway 1 may have been intentional as the vehicle came to rest about 70 feet from the edge of a scenic turnout before accelerating straight forward.

The Hart family had been residents of North Clark County since May 2017 according to property records, living at a Woodland address. Regional reporting has revealed that the family had a case opened by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services days before the crash.

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