According to reports, Sarah Hart was charged with malicious punishment of a child in 2011 after their then-6 year old daughter, Abigail Hart, showed up to school with bruises on her stomach and back.
Abigail told her teacher “mom hit me”.
Hart pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge, which allowed for the initial charge to be dismissed. Sarah admitted to bending the 6 year old girl over the bathtub and “spanking her” while her wife Jennifer Hart watched.
Sarah received a suspended 90 day jail sentence and one year probation. Neighbors would later call Child Services after noticing odd behaviors in the children.
The children who are missing are 15-year-old Devonte, 16-year-old Hannah and 12-year-old Sierra Hart. Nineteen-year-old Markis, 14-year-old Jeremiah and 14-year-old Abigal Hart were confirmed dead Wednesday.https://t.co/OsZ9MgRMf1 pic.twitter.com/LM20R6xzGT
— KOIN News (@KOINNews) March 28, 2018
67 year old Bill Groener, who lived next door to the Harts for 2 years said all of the children were homeschooled and mostly stayed indoors, even during nice weather, noting the family liked their privacy when they lived in West Linn, Oregon.
Groener told reporters the family didn’t eat sugar and grew their own vegetables. He also noted the family would sometimes go away on “camping trips”. When the couple moved their family to Woodland, Washington in May 2017, their new neighbors noticed something odd just months after their arrival.