The human remains found on a beach in northern California belong to one of six adopted children killed with their parents when their mother deliberately chased their SUV off a cliff, authorities said Wednesday.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Department struggled to identify the human remains found shortly after the March 26 accident, until 16-year-old Hannah Hart's biological mother called Mobile Department, Alabama, in October. She was responding to a request from investigators asking family members to come forward and assist in the identification process.
The woman's DNA sample corresponded to the remains of the teenage girl, said the sheriff's department.
Only the remains of Devonte Hart, aged 15, have not been found. Nevertheless, the sheriff's department says that he believes the six children died in the accident. Devonte, who was black, drew national attention after being photographed in tears while he was hugging a white policeman at a protest in 2014.
According to the sheriff's department, Jennifer Hart, 38, was inebriated when she deliberately drove her vehicle on California's Scenic Highway 1 and on a cliff into the ocean. about 250 km north of San Francisco. Investigators are still trying to determine a pattern.
The toxicological results showed that Sarah Hart, Hart's wife, aged 38, and several of the children ages 12 to 19 had taken a large amount of a drug that could cause drowsiness in their system.
The accident occurred a few days after authorities in Washington State, where the family left Oregon to settle in 2017, opened a investigation into allegations that the children were neglected.
A Harts neighbor in Woodland, Washington, had lodged a complaint with the state, claiming that the children were apparently deprived of their liberty. food as a punishment. On March 23, no one answered the question. Social workers who viewed the report went to the family's home near Portland, Oregon,
Three days later, their sport utility vehicle was found partially submerged in the ocean, under a rugged cliff.
Sarah Hart pleaded guilty in 2011 to a charge of domestic violence in Minnesota for what she had described as spanking one of her children. Oregon Child Protection officials also investigated the couple in 2013, but closed the case without any action.