Jennifer Hart spotted in Fort Bragg; large search for missing kids planned Wednesday

Jennifer Hart in a Safeway store in Fort Bragg, California at about 8AM on 3-25-2018 - California Highway Patrol image

Jennifer Hart may have been spotted at a grocery store in Fort Bragg, Calif. on March 25, the day before she and her family members were found dead in a crash, Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies said.

Jennifer and Sarah Hart, along with three of their adopted children, were found dead in Mendocino County last week after the car they were in drove off a cliff and crashed into rocks. Three of their other adopted kids, Devonte, Hannah and Sierra, are missing.

California Highway Patrol officials say they've expanded the search for the children, and are working with other agencies to look for clues along the route they believe the family took their home in Woodland, Washington.

RELATED: Hart parents denied using belt to discipline child in '08, claimed she fell down stairs

Authorities believe the crash off the cliff was intentional. The family most recently lived in Woodland, but has also spent time in West Linn, Ore. and Minnesota.

In a news release Tuesday, deputies say Jennifer Hart was spotted at a Safeway in Fort Bragg just after 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 25. Surveillance footage possibly showing her was of "poor quality" and the FBI is working to enhance the images.

RELATED: CPS visited home 3 times, identified children as 'potential victims of abuse or neglect'

Officials say they're unsure if Devonte, Hannah and Sierra were in the car at the time of the crash.

More than 70 people will begin a large-scale search Wednesday morning during low tide conditions in the area of the crash at MacKerricher State Park.

Below is a timeline of events leading up to the crash from CHP investigators:

  • Family in the Newport, Oregon area around 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, March 24
  • Travels south along Highway 101 to State Route 1 in Legget, California
  • SUV continues south on SR-1 until they reach Fort Bragg about 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24
  • Family stays in the Fort Bragg and Cleone areas until about 9 p.m. Sunday, March 25

If you have any helpful information in the case, or think you may have seen the family in the days leading up to the crash, contact the California Highway Patrol – Ukiah Area office at (707) 467-4000 or the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 463-4086.

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