She has been recognized as 16-year-old Hannah Hart, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned in a Wednesday information launch. One baby, Devonte, 15, stays lacking.
“The most definitely state of affairs is that he, too, perished on this incident, however the case stays open and lively,” the sheriff’s assertion mentioned.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart, each 38, adopted two units of siblings: Devonte was brother to Jeremiah, 14, and Ciera, 12, whereas Hannah was the sister of Abigail, 14, and Markis, 19.
After Jennifer — by all indications, deliberately — drove the household off a cliff alongside US Freeway 101 on March 26, authorities rapidly recognized the moms, together with Markis, Jeremiah and Abigail. Two weeks later, Ciera’s physique was discovered on a seashore north of the cliff.
“In October of 2018, a girl who recognized herself because the mom of Markis, Abigail and Hannah Hart contacted the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Workplace and indicated she had heard of this incident through a member of the family,” the sheriff’s assertion mentioned.
The lady supplied a DNA pattern, and on Tuesday, the crime lab knowledgeable investigators that the stays had been these of Hannah.
An elaborate ruse?
Among the many allegations had been that the Harts denied their children meals and compelled them to lie on the ground for hours. Typically, punishment was meted out for conduct widespread amongst youngsters, similar to laughing on the dinner desk.
The main points of what preceded the household’s destiny usually are not utterly clear, however Bruce DeKalb, one of many household’s neighbors in Woodland, Washington, mentioned the household moved to the world between mid-2017 and early 2018. They had been “very personal,” he mentioned.
Shortly after they moved in, DeKalb mentioned, one of many women got here to the DeKalbs’ door at 1:30 a.m. requesting safety as a result of her mother and father had been mistreating her.
“We ended up getting her again to her mother and father … after which I went over there the subsequent morning and simply checked on issues, and all the pieces appeared regular, and we let it go from there,” he mentioned.
Prelude to a tragedy
The final sighting of the household got here March 25, police mentioned, when Jennifer Hart was seen on surveillance footage buying at a Safeway in Fort Bragg.
“The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Workplace is poised to comply with up any viable investigative lead however has not acquired any indication of Devonte being situated elsewhere,” the division mentioned Tuesday.