Authorities have recovered skeletal remains near the site where the Hart family’s SUV went off the road in Mendocino County in March.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday in a statement that the skeletal remains of what appeared to be a human foot were found in a shoe on the beach about a mile north of the crash site.
The shoe — a 3.5 “big kid” size, or 5.5 women’s US size — was entangled in a girl’s pair of jeans, the sheriff’s office said.
In March, a legally intoxicated Jennifer Hart drove her wife and at least four of their six adopted children off a cliff. No one in the SUV was wearing a seatbelt according to police.
The bodies of Jennifer and Sarah Hart and three of the children were recovered soon after the crash. A couple weeks later, the body of 12-year-old Ciera was also found in the surf, but the bodies of 16-year-old Hannah and 15-year-old Devonte have not been found.
The state Bureau of Forensic Services is working to identify the newly discovered remains through DNA analysis, according to the sheriff’s office.
While only a few details have emerged about the family’s final months, it’s clear that the family had drawn the attention of child welfare authorities in both Minnesota and Oregon after multiple reports that their children were neglected and malnourished.
Neighbors have said some of the kids, whom the Harts adopted in Texas, would approach them asking for food, and saying that their mothers would punish them by denying them meals.