Recovered vehicle debris and personal items confirm that an SUV seen plunging into a storm-swollen Northern California river belonged to a family that disappeared last week in the same county as the Hart family, authorities said Thursday.
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Under California law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
Carpenter says toxicology tests also found that her wife Sarah Hart and two of their adopted children had "a significant amount" of an ingredient commonly found in the allergy drug Benadryl, which can make people sleepy. Berkowitz attempted to go down the embankment 15 to 20 feet and recalls saying, "And so I'm yelling, 'hello, hello, anyone there?'" Authorities say the SUV matches the description of the vehicle the Thottapilly family was traveling in, which was a maroon/burgundy 2016 Honda Pilot with California license plate 7MMX138.
Police also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was sending its Behavioral Analysis Unit to study cellphone data recovered from one of the family members' phones showing the Hart family's travel information.
Argyropoulos wrote that as a family friend she initially thought Jennifer Hart was a loving mother.
Farther south along the Mendocino County coast, authorities continue to look for members of a family missing since an SUV made a deadly and possibly intentional plunge off a towering ocean bluff along State Route 1 last month.More news: Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) Earns "Buy" Rating from Deutsche Bank
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Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 38, were found in their overturned SUV at the bottom of the cliff near the Pacific Coast Highway on March 26. The women had adopted two sets of siblings - the first (Markis, Abigail and Hannah) in 2006 and the second (Devonte, Jeremiah and Sierra) in 2009.
A body was pulled out of the surf Saturday but was not immediately identified.
Relatives, who last heard from the family in the town of Klamath on April 5, reported them missing Sunday after they failed to show up for a scheduled visit in San Jose.
Personal belongings of the four members of the family from Santa Clarita in California, who were believed to be travelling through Humboldt and Mendocino County on US-101 while on a vacation, were also found by the team over a two-day period on Tuesday and Wednesday, officials said.
A deputy went the same day to the home in rural Woodland, Washington, and no one appeared to be home, records said. They later left the state and never registered in local school districts in OR and Washington OR notified authorities they planned to home-school the children.
Long before the crash, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty in 2011 to a domestic assault charge in Minnesota over what she said was a spanking given to one of her children. The family also was investigated in 2013 when they lived in OR after a family friend reported witnessing "controlling emotional abuse and cruel punishment" toward the children.