Body found near California crash scene confirmed to be missing H - KPTV - FOX 12

Body found near California crash scene confirmed to be missing Hart girl

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Hart family photo from family friend (KPTV) Hart family photo from family friend (KPTV)
MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA (KPTV) -

A body found near the scene of a crash that killed a Woodland family on the California coast was confirmed to be one of the missing Hart children.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reported Tuesday that the body recovered on April 7 is 12-year-old Ciera Hart. DNA analysis confirmed it was Ciera. 

Deputies also said Ciera’s name had previously been reported as Sierra and that her age was initially incorrectly identified as 15 years old.

Toxicology tests determined Jennifer Hart was drunk when she drove an SUV off a cliff in the Westport area of Mendocino County on March 26.

Jennifer and Sarah Hart, along with three of their adopted children, were pronounced dead immediately after the crash scene was located. Investigators said the couple’s three other children were believed to be in the car, but they were not located, until Ciera’s body was found earlier this month.

Two children, 15-year-old Devonte Hart and 16-year-old Hannah Hart, remain missing.

As the investigation unfolded, it was learned a neighbor reported the Harts to Child Protective Services and a 911 call was made in November 2017 regarding possible abuse and neglect of the children.

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services opened a Child Protective Services investigation of the family on March 23.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office previously said he believes the case is “more of a crime than it is a crash.” Police said Jennifer Hart’s blood-alcohol content was .102 at the time of the crash. Sarah Hart and at least two of the children who died had a “significant amount” of an ingredient commonly found in the allergy drug Benadryl in their systems, which can make people tired, according investigators.

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