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Body pulled from ocean in 'immediate vicinity' of Hart family crash site


WESTPORT, Calif. (KATU) — The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office says vacationers spotted a body in the Pacific Ocean near the Hart family crash site Saturday afternoon.

A bystander pulled the body from the surf where it was recovered by Westport Fire crews.

The Sheriff's Office says the body appears to be that of an African American female, and that deputies are investigating the possibility that it may be one of the two missing Hart girls.

Official identification will most likely be done through DNA analysis, which could take several weeks.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is monitoring ocean conditions to see when further searches might be safely conducted.

California Highway Patrol found Sarah and Jennifer Hart and three of their other adopted children, who most recently lived in Woodland, Washington, dead at the scene of a grizzly crash off a cliff last week.

The Mendocino County sheriff says he does not believe the crash was an accident.

In an interview with HLN, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said, "I’m to the point where I’m no longer calling this an accident. I’m calling it a crime."

Read More about the HART FAMILY CRASH on CIRCA:

A family of five was killed after a car accident, a sheriff is now 'calling it a crime'

Police say family's fatal crash off cliff appears intentional

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