Recovered body identified as Hart family member
Six members of the Hart family are now confirmed dead, as the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that a body found in the water April 7 was identified as 12-year-old Ciera Hart — one of the three children who were missing after an SUV drove off a cliff in Westport, California March 26.
That news came several days after MCSO announced that Jennifer Hart, the driver of the SUV, was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Two other children — 15-year-old Devonte Hart, 16-year-old Hannah Hart — are still considered missing, but feared dead. The family previously lived in West Linn before moving to Woodland, Washington.
In a press release, MCSD Captain Gregory L. Van Patten said preliminary blood alcohol and toxicology analysis showed Hart's blood alcohol content (BAC) to be .102 at the time of the crash, which killed her and at least five other family members. The legal limit for BAC in California is .08.
Jennifer Hart's wife, Sarah, and two of the children who died in the car also tested positive for diphenhydramine, an active ingredient in Benadryl. The results of a BAC and toxicology analysis for a third child who died in the crash have yet to be released, according to MCSD, and the results for Ciera Hart are pending.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 39, and three of their children — 19-year old Markis Hart, 14-year-old Jeremiah Hart and 14-year-old Abigail Hart — were found dead at the scene of the crash.
Authorities believe Hart drove off the cliff intentionally.
Further search efforts along the coast have been unsuccessful amid stormy conditions.