PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN/CNN) – A friend of the woman who police say was drunk when she drove an SUV with her wife and six adopted children off a cliff last month still can’t believe it happened.
Despite reports of child abuse going back a decade, family friend Nusheen Bakhtiar says Jennifer Hart was a loving mother.
“We weren’t duped, that love wasn’t fake,” Bakhtair said. “They loved their children, they weren’t white supremacists. They just were isolated, they were in pain. She was in constant anxiety.”
Bakhtiar said Jennifer struggled after a photo of Devonte hugging a Portland police officer at a protest went viral.
Jennifer texted that the backlash to the photo was traumatic, that people were stalking the house and leaving threats in their mailbox. She said that’s why she had been, in her words, “non-existent
publicly,” that she was “working through some messed up stuff.”
Bakhtiar said, “Now that I realize how serious it was, I wish I had known to be let’s get security cameras, let’s call someone or let’s find remediation.”
In another text sent last year, Jennifer told Bakhtiar that during the past 8 months she had only texted three people: Bakhtiar, Sarah and a stranger by accident.
She said it had been the toughest year of her life.
Still, Bakhtiar has a hard time believing the crash was intentional. “We loved them, they loved their children, they were spiritual, they were about nature they loved animals, they were rescuers. I
don’t feel like I didn’t know them,” Bakhtiar added.
Bakhtiar said Hart may have been both a great mother and someone capable of killing her family in a moment of darkness. She is hoping the investigating yields more answers.