Free-Spirited Family Raised Some Worries Before Cliff Crash

Neighbors reported family before cliff crash
(Tristan Fortsch/KATU News via AP)

MENDOCINO, Calif. (AP) – A Washington state couple who lived next door to a family whose SUV plunged off a California cliff say they called authorities because they were concerned that one of the children was going hungry.

Bruce and Dana DeKalb said Wednesday that they called child welfare officials Friday after becoming concerned that one of the children, Devonte Hart, had been coming to their house too often in the past week asking for food.

Devonte gained widespread attention when he was photographed hugging a white officer during a 2014 protest over a fatal police shooting of a black man.

Property records show married couple Jennifer and Sarah Hart and their children bought the two-story home in Woodland, Washington, on two acres with a fenced pasture in May 2017.

The DeKalbs recounted a night three months after the family moved in when one of the girls rang their doorbell at 1:30 a.m.

Bruce DeKalb says she “was at our door in a blanket saying we needed to protect her. She said that they were abusing her.”

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