The body of a young child has been discovered along a Northern Calfornia river by teams searching for a missing family whose SUV crashed into the rain-swollen waterway last week, authorities said Friday. "The legal limit for driving in California is 0.08".
The California Highway Patrol said that witnesses have told them they saw a SUV matching the description of the one owned by the Thottapilly family rolled through a highway pullout, slam into trees as it went down a 150-foot embankment and crash into the swift-moving waters of the Eel River.
The results of a toxicology text performed on a third juvenile victim is still pending.
One of the two still missing was 15-year-old Devonte Hart, an African-American youth who gained attention in 2014 after being photographed embracing a white police officer during a protest following the fatal police shooting of a young black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.
Officials have said the crash may have been intentional, judging by software in the vehicle showing it stopped at a pull-off area before speeding off the cliff. Authorities have not identified the woman. 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.
More details in the death investigation of the couple who drove their six adopted children off a cliff. Hannah Hart, 16; Devonte Hart, 15; and Sierra Hart, 12, have not been found.
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In an email to The Associated Press Friday, Alexandra Argyropoulos wrote that as a family friend she initially thought Jennifer Hart was a loving mother.
Searchers also found items described as consistent with a family traveling on vacation and unspecified personal items that allowed officials to confirm that the vehicle seen plunging into the river was the Thottapilly's SUV.
A neighbor of the Harts in Woodland, Washington, had filed a complaint, saying the children were apparently being deprived of food as punishment.
He said examiners also found traces of an over-the-counter antihistamine that can cause drowsiness in the systems of the wife and two children.
And authorities have said social services officials in OR contacted the West Linn Police Department about the family in 2013 while they were living in the area.