Lesbian moms committed homicide-suicide, investigations suggest

Car crash investigations suggest lesbian 'couple' had history of abuse, intentionally killed their adopted children.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 12:00 PM

California cliff (illustrative)
California cliff (illustrative)

The vehicle crash which killed two lesbian women and at least three of their six adopted children last month may have been intentional, reports said.

In the crash, a Washington family's SUV accelerated off a cliff in California. Three of the children were found dead, and the other three are missing. Authorities believe the missing children may have been swept out to sea.

The dead children have been identified as Markis, 19, and Jeremiah and Abigail, both 14. The missing children are Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, and Sierra, 12.

The parents, lesbian "couple" Jennifer Jean Hart and Sarah Margaret Hart, both 38, adopted one set of three siblings in 2006 and a second set in 2009.

However, as early as 2010, they were suspected of abusing their adopted children, when a six-year-old daughter complained to her teacher about pains in her stomach and back, and said she had been hit. Upon investigation, the school found bruises on the girl's chest and back, which Sarah Hart took responsibility for.

Sarah admitted to investigating officers in Minnesota, where the family lived at the time, that she had bent her daughter over the bathtub to spank her. She claimed that corporal punishment was almost never used in the home, but admitted to letting "her anger get out of control" in that instance.

She served a year of community service and probation for the misdemeanor.

A neighbor of the Harts', Bruce DeKalb, said he called Child Protective Services (CPS) prior to the crash, since he and his wife Dana were alarmed by how thin the children were. He added that the Harts' 12-year-old "looked like she was seven" and both of her front teeth were missing.

The couple also told NBC affiliate KGW that one of the children, Devonte, would often come to their home to ask for food, saying his mothers withheld meals as punishment. He also asked the DeKalbs to call CPS. At first Devonte would ask for one meal a day, but later began asking for three.

At one point, one of the girls, Hannah, showed up in at 1:30a.m after having jumped out her second-story window. She asked the DeKalbs to protect her and explaining that her parents were not treating her properly. The DeKalbs did return the girl to her parents, who DeKalb said "told us what we wanted to hear."

"Life went on for another eight months and here we are today," he added.

Another neighbor said that the children were rarely seen outside.

After the crash, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) said they had tried to contact the Harts on the day of the crash. DSHS also told NBC News that the department had tagged the three children who were killed as potential victims of abuse and neglect.

DSHS had attempted to contact the family twice previously, but were unsuccessful.

When CPS knocked at the family's home just after Jennifer Hart returned from work, no one answered the knock. According to DeKalb, the family and vehicle disappeared the next morning.

The crash is assumed intentional due to the absence of skid marks and other indicators that the driver had simply lost control of the vehicle. In addition, preliminary data obtained from the vehicle suggests that the family did stop approximately 70 feet away from the cliff, before accelerating off the edge.