Attempts to identify foot found on Mendocino beach still ongoing

Mendocino County authorities believe a foot found weeks after a Washington woman drove her family off a coastal cliff belongs to one of two still-missing teens.|

Authorities haven’t been able to determine whether a foot found on a Mendocino Coast beach belonged to one of two children believed to have died in a March crash that killed their family.

The foot was found still in a shoe and tangled in a pair of girl’s jeans several weeks after police said Jennifer Hart, a mother of six, drove her wife and children over a 100-foot cliff off Highway 1 about ?20 miles north of Fort Bragg.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney said Tuesday the human remains and clothing were sent to a DNA lab but the results were inconclusive.

Investigators determined the crash was a crime, saying Hart, 38, of Woodland, Washington, was drunk when she intentionally drove her wife, Sarah, and adopted children off the cliff. The crash occurred after Washington child welfare officials tried visiting the family’s home after getting abuse and neglect reports.

All but two of the family members have been found, some inside their GMC Yukon XL and others in the surf. Officials suspect the foot near the mouth of Hardy Creek in Westport was from one of the two missing kids, Devonte Hart, 15, or Hannah Hart, 16.

The Hart children were made up of two sets of biological siblings. Lab tests attempted to compare DNA from the foot with their siblings’ recovered bodies, but the tests were inconclusive, Barney said.

Investigators plan to search for the pair’s biological parents through the adoption agency the Harts used, Barney said.

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