‘Sterile home’: Boy forced to hug cop & siblings lived under harsh conditions before fatal crash

“There was very little to show the children had access to any toys or items or entertainment," the report says.

Devonte Hart thegrio.com
Portland police Sgt. Bret Barnum, left, and Devonte Hart, 12, hug at a rally in Portland, Ore., where people had gathered in support of the protests in Ferguson, Mo. Authorities have said two women and three children were killed Monday, March 26, 2018, when their SUV fell from a cliff along Pacific Coast Highway in Mendocino County. Hart is one of the three other children still missing after the vehicle fell off a cliff. (Johnny Huu Nguyen via AP, File)

Investigators in the case of a California family that died after their SUV plunged off of a cliff in March say they found a “sterile” home that did not give “any indication” that the family’s six children lived there, the Daily Mail is reporting.

After the tragedy, authorities found the remains of parents Jennifer Hart, 28, and Sarah Hart, 38, along with the remains of three of their adopted children, Markis Hart, 19, Jeremiah Hart, 14, and Abigail Hart, 14. Devonte, the youth captured in a photo hugging a white cop amid protests, and Hannah, remain missing, writes Crime Online.

Because of the mystery, officials with the Clark County, Calif., sheriff’s office have been looking all through the family’s home for clues. But what they found was a home that was “extremely clean and organized, giving a perception of being very sterile,” the Daily Mail writes.

The news organization quoted police Det. Joe Swenson as saying: “The house was so orderly and nothing seemed out of place regarding any belongings, toys or entertainment items the children may have owned.”

The Daily Mail cites copies of warrants obtained by KOIN 6 television news station.

“There was very little to show the children had access to any toys or items or entertainment, save for some board games found in the downstairs living room,” Swenson is quoted as saying.

The news organization also quoted police Det. Lindsay Schultz as saying, “None of the rooms were personalized for the children or showed the supporting elements that children lived in the residence.”

Swenson echoed that sentiment, saying, “I did not get any indication that children lived in the house.”

Another piece of the mystery: the kitchen and refrigerator appeared fully stocked with newly purchased goods that were perishable, Swenson said. The house also contained empty luggage, perhaps indicating that the family’s road trip was unplanned, according to the Daily Mail.

The couple are believed to have fled the home after a case worker visited to investigate claims of alleged abuse. Authorities were beginning a probe into allegations that the couple starved and whipped their children, the Daily Mail reported.

Documents revealed that the children often asked neighbors for food and one of the children jumped out of a window in an attempt to escape, according to the Daily Mail.

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