SAN FRANCISCO (AP/WCCO) — Investigators trying to determine what caused an SUV carrying a family of eight to plunge off a California cliff will look at factors such as the weather, road conditions and the possibility of brake failure — but ultimately may never find out the cause.

Authorities don’t know exactly when or how the SUV went over the cliff. They say they have no reason so far to believe it was an intentional crash that claimed the lives of two women and at least three of their six adoptive children just days after child welfare authorities tried to contact the family over concerns about the kids’ living conditions.

But they also said there were no skid marks or signs the driver braked as the GMC Yukon crossed a flat dirt pull-off area, about 75 feet wide, and went over the edge of the Pacific Coast Highway. The vehicle was discovered Monday.

Three of the children, along with Jennifer and Sarah Hart, are confirmed dead. The other three children are still missing.

Deputies say they went into the Washington home in search of phone records and bank documents.

The Hart family once lived in Alexandria.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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