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The Tragic Story of Devonte Hart

Lulu King, Staff Writer

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March 23, 2018 was the fateful day in which the lives of the Hart family and their loved ones would change forever. Devonte Hart, famously photographed in 2014 at a protest held in Portland, Oregon for police brutality, loaded into the car with his adoptive family and siblings.  He was surrounded by the people that he had toxic relations with, rather than the love that a family is supposed to share with one another. In the widely spread and memorable photograph, Devonte was shown with tears streaming down his face while hugging a police officer, who saved him from these toxic familial ties. These are the same tears that he felt inside day in and day out as he was not only physically but also mentally tortured by his abusive and outright cruel parents. The behavior that the Hart parents forced their children to endure would take a much more sinister turn on March 23, 2018.

Devonte Hart was adopted by Sarah and Jennifer Hart along with his five other adoptive siblings.  They went through years of abuse starting the moment they crossed the threshold into the Hart household.  The children would flee their home in fear, running to their neighbors for security and the food that they had been deprived of for weeks.  At other points in time, the teachers of the children would find bruises covering their bodies. They would also listen to the shaky voices of the Hart children as they retold the chilling accounts of cruel abuse they had to endure, such as being nearly drowned in a bathtub by their own parents.  

On a typical Wednesday morning in March, the Hart’s family car plunged into the rocky shores off the coast of California, having fallen off of a 100 foot cliff.  Only afterwords did a surplus of horrific stories surface.  Many came forward to testify to the torment that the Hart siblings had to face on a regular, and only after the revelation of this information was when the tragic incident, which was deemed an accident, turned into an investigation of foul play.  Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the car had been going 90 miles per hour when it crashed into the water.  Other data taken from the car proved that it had come to a sudden stop right before the reaching the cliff, and prior to its deathly plunge, proving that the driver, Jennifer Hart, purposely wished for it to reach the a high and dangerous speed. Ms. Hart also happened to be under the influence at the time of the accident.  Six deaths have been confirmed since the time of the accident.  These deaths include both Sarah and Jennifer Hart and four of their children, but Hannah and brother, Devonte Hart, remain missing.  

Further possible leads have been drawn to the missing Hannah Hart since the time of the incident, such as a young girl’s foot being found near the location of the crash, but there are still no potential traces to Devonte Hart.  Devonte Hart, having been made famous in 2014 for showcasing his peaceful nature was made famous yet again when his entire adoptive family, most likely including Devonte, plunged to their deaths.  A once tranquil boy, who lacked a single mean bone in his body had to endure cruel, unnecessary treatment for years on end.  With the death of his parents and most likely murderers, Devonte Hart has finally been freed from the atrocious treatment that he faced each day. All of this cruelty was finally made public, but it may have been too late. 

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The Tragic Story of Devonte Hart