Human remains found near site of family crash
A local resident found a pair of jeans and a shoe with human remains inside about a mile north of where Jennifer Hart drove her wife and six adopted children off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean in March, authorities announced Thursday.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is asking federal authorities to identify the remains through DNA analysis.
The crash occurred March 26, just days after authorities in Washington state opened an investigation following allegations that Jennifer and Sarah Hart’s children were being neglected.
Five bodies were found that day, but two girls and a boy were not immediately recovered.
A female body was found in the surf in April but has not been identified.
The FBI placed a boy and a girl on its missing persons list, but investigators said they have no evidence indi- cating the two children are still alive. Officials continue to search the ocean and nearby beaches.
The jeans, a girl’s size 10 regular, and the shoe, a 3.5 U. S. big-kid size or 5.5 women’s U. S. size, were found near the mouth of Hardy Creek on Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
A teamwas set to search the area during low tide Thursday.
Last month, authorities said Jennifer Hart was drunk at the time of the crash. Her wife and several children had large amounts of a drug in their systems that can cause drowsiness.
Authorities have said that data from the family’s sport utility vehicle’s software suggested the crash was deliberate. They said the SUV had stopped at a coastal highway overlook before speeding straight off the cliff and plummeting 100 feet into the rocky ocean below.
Deputy Bill Holcomb, left, and search and rescue volunteers view in March an area near Mendocino where Jennifer Hart drove her wife and six adopted children off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean.