Devonte Hart, Teenager in Heartbreaking Viral Photo, Presumed Dead

Horrible news this week out of California:

A couple and its six children are all presumed dead after their car was found at the bottom of a cliff in Mendocino Coast, near a scenic lookout point.

a family

The bodies of Jennifer Hart and her wife, Sarah were discovered on Monday inside of their upside-down SUV, while the bodies of three of their kids were found outside of the car.

The fate of the couple’s other three children were unknown at the outset of this investigation, but Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allmon told reporters on Wednesday he has “every indication to believe” they are also dead.

During this a press conference, Allmon explained that there were still “a lot of unknowns” in the case, but authorities could say with confidence “that an entire family vanished, perished in this tragedy.”

Jennifer and Sarah Hart adopted all of their kids and were known for taking them to various political rallies and events along the West Coast.

Among the missing children is 15-year-old Devonte Hart, who was featured in a photograph that went viral back in 2014.

It depicted Devonte hugging a white police officer during a rally in Portland, Oregon that was organized in the wake of grand jury’s decision not to indict a cop in the shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri.

Perhaps you remember this captivating image:

famous hug

At the time it was snapped, Hart was holding a “Free Hugs” sign, standing alone and crying, according to witnesses on the scene.

A Portland officer saw this sign and asked if he could have a hug, which led to an emotional Hart embracing the stranger a picture that was widely shared on social media.

Wrote Jennifer Hart in response to the image and what led up to this interaction:

My son has a heart of gold, compassion beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, yet struggles with living fearlessly when it comes to the police. …

He wonders if someday when he no longer wears a ‘Free Hugs’ sign around his neck, when he’s a full-grown black male, if his life will be in danger for simply being.

“Devonte was in the vehicle but his body has not been recovered,” Allmon said yesterday of the very young man featured above.

The California Highway Patrol has not determined why the family’s car went off an ocean overlook on a rugged part of coastline.

A specialized team of accident investigators are in the process attempting to figure that out, Allman said, adding that “there were no skid marks, there were no brake marks.”

Answering a journalist’s question about whether foul play was involved, Allmon replied:

“We have no reason to believe, no evidence and no reason to believe, that this was an intentional act.”

Along with Devonte and his parents, those presumed dead as a result of this awful crash are Devonte’s siblings:

Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14. Hannah Hart, 16; and Sierra Hart, 12.

May they all rest in peace.