Hart family volunteered at Sherwood farm and food pantry - KPTV - FOX 12

Hart family volunteered at Sherwood farm and food pantry

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Hart family photo from family friend (KPTV) Hart family photo from family friend (KPTV)
Elizabeth and Tyler Boggs (KPTV) Elizabeth and Tyler Boggs (KPTV)
SHERWOOD, OR (KPTV) -

The tragic Hart family mystery is still making headlines across the country more than two weeks after the deadly crash off a California cliff, but one Sherwood couple can’t bring themselves to read the stories.

“I unplugged from the media and social media because it was too much,” Tyler Boggs said Tuesday. “I loved them and was unbelievably shocked to hear the news.”

Boggs and his wife Elizabeth spoke to FOX 12 from their farm, offering insight into their interactions and friendship with the Hart family that spanned the last few years.

Tyler Boggs runs the nonprofit Good Neighbor Family Pantry and Elizabeth Boggs owns Heart to Heart Farm. 

The couple said it was the food pantry that initially brought the Harts to their farm.

“They’re vegan, and we had a gigantic amount of produce available, and they were trying to save money to pay off some debt, and I believe, purchase their first farm,” Boggs said.

What started as a chance for free produce, turned into a friendship between the two families.

Soon, the Hart children started volunteering at the food pantry.

“That consists of cleaning up, and setting up, and sorting good food from bad food,” Boggs said.

The couple said they only interacted with the Harts on their farm, but Boggs estimates he had dozens of interactions with the kids from about 2013 to 2016.

“It was the sweetest bunch, and a wonderful diversity from outspoken Devonte to shy, timid Abigail, who just loved reading,” Boggs said. 

Boggs said they started seeing the family less after the family moved further away with their own plot of land in Woodland. 

He said he last spoke to one of the mothers on social media in July. 

The viral photograph of Devonte Hart hugging a Portland Police officer was snapped during those years the family visited the farm.

Boggs remembers talking at length with the preteen about the photo.  

“Just having conversations about what he wanted his life to look like, and just how much this social justice movement is his responsibility and how stressful that can be -- and how important it is to balance,” Boggs said. “The kids were wise beyond their years.”

Several friends of the Hart family have told FOX 12 that they never suspected or saw the abuse that a Woodland neighbor and a former family friend reported.

The Boggs also said they never saw any warning signs, and thought Jennifer and Sarah Hart were ideal parents. 

“I don’t believe it,” Boggs said of the alleged abuse. “I can’t think of a single instance where I had any concern.”

“The kids would come here and there would be thousands of pounds of food all around them, and children would be eating food constantly,” Boggs added. “They weren’t malnourished, they were super-healthy children.”

“There’s a piece of me that just believes we’re missing something – whether it’s foul play that nobody’s figured out, or there was a medical condition, or a seizure – just none of it checks out,” Boggs said.

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