Devonte' Harts siblings drugged, mother drunk before driving off cliff

Erika Holt
April 17, 2018

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.

Police had previously said they believed the Hart family died in a suicide plunge from a scenic overlook.

"Several items have been positively identified, by family members, as belonging to the Thottapilly family", it said.

Sandeep Thottapilly and family.

It has not been determined if the family lived in Colorado County at the time of the adoptions.

Sandeep Thottapilly, 41, vice president of the Union Bank on Santa Clarita, and his wife Soumya Thottapilly, 38, were on a road trip along with their two kids - Siddhanth, 12 and Saachi, 9 - in a maroon Honda Pilot from Portland, Oregon to San Jose in Southern California, during which they went missing on April 5.

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According to a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's office, on Friday around 10:45 am, "searchers located the deceased body of an adult female approximately 7 miles north of the reported crash site".

The poster said their last known location was the "Klamath-Redwood National Park area".

The California Highway Patrol said on Friday that Jennifer Hart, who was driving the SUV that plunged off the cliff in Mendocino County on March 26 carrying her wife and six children, had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.

Their bodies and those of three of their children-Markis, 19, Jeremiah, 14, and Abigail, 14 - were recovered, while their other three children-Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, and Sierra, 15 - are missing and feared dead.

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.

A couple vacationing reportedly saw the body and pulled it from the surf before calling authorities.

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