5 p.m. UPDATE: Authorities in Northern California say they believe all six children from a family were in a vehicle that plunged off a coastal cliff.
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allmon told reporters Wednesday that only three bodies of the children have been recovered. Their parents also died Monday.
He says specialized crash investigators are studying the scene for clues, but it’s very curious because there were no skid or brake marks. But Allmon says there’s no reason to believe the crash was a deliberate act.
The sheriff appealed for the public’s help in retracing where the family had been in recent days.
Allmon says a passer-by called 911 about the crash, but investigators don’t know exactly when the SUV plunged into the ocean. He says “an entire family vanished and perished during this tragedy.”
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Searchers scoured the Northern California coast Wednesday for three missing children of a couple who were killed along with three of their other children when their SUV plunged off scenic Pacific Coast Highway onto rocks in the ocean.
The California Highway Patrol said law enforcement officials in Oregon and Washington have been unable to locate the missing children of Jennifer and Sarah Hart at the family home in suburban Portland or with family members and friends.
The Harts lived in Woodland, Washington, and recently had a visit from Child Protective Services, Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Brent Waddell told The Associated Press.
He said the sheriff’s office later entered the house and found no obvious signs of trouble or violence.
It appeared the family planned a short trip because they left behind a pet, chickens and belongings
The Harts, both 39, and three of the children were killed Monday when their 2003 GMC fell 100 feet from an ocean overlook in Mendocino County, about 150 miles (241.39 kilometers) north of San Francisco.
The CHP hasn’t determined why the SUV plunged from the overlook.
The dead children were identified as Markis Hart, 19, Jeremiah Hart, 14, and Abigail Hart, 14.
Searchers were looking for Hannah Hart, 16, Devonte Hart, 15 and Sierra Hart, 12.
Searchers were using boats, aircraft and drones to scan the ocean and nearby beach. Choppy conditions prevented divers from joining the search.
– Dubois reported from Portland, Oregon. AP writer Tom James also contributed to this story from Woodland, Washington.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.