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Found Body May Be One Of Missing Children From Crash On Highway 1

WESTPORT (KPIX) -- Authorities have recovered a body that may be one of the three children who is still missing after a crash along the coastline.

Hannah, Devonte and Sierra Hart haven't been seen in almost two weeks.

The family's SUV plunged off a cliff along Highway 1, last month.

The call that came across the police radios in Mendocino County just after 2 p.m. Saturday, after a couple vacationing near the coast saw a body in the surf and called 911.

They found what appeared to be a girls' body near the town of Westport.

A bystander on the beach grabbed the body and pulled it to shore, not far from where the Hart family's SUV crashed onto the rocks.

"We know family and friends have stated that is is rare for the family not to be traveling together," said Capt. Greg Van Patten with Mendocino County Sheriff. "We are going on the assumption that Devonte, Hannah and Sierra were in the vehicle together."

They say the body pulled from the water today was that of an African American female, meaning if it is one of the Hart children, a boy and a girl are still missing.

So far, authorities have not released her name or age.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, but investigators say it will probably take a DNA test to be sure, and that takes a couple of weeks.

The bodies of the childrens' adoptive parents and three other siblings have been recovered. Two are still missing.

Authorities said the evidence from the SUV indicates the crash was deliberate.

They say that Jennifer Hart stopped the car 70 feet back from the edge of the cliff, then drove straight off the edge, never hitting the brakes.


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