Economy

Devonte Hart's Adopted Mother Was Drunk When She Drove SUV Off Cliff

Devonte Hart's Adopted Mother Was Drunk When She Drove SUV Off Cliff

The five bodies were recovered days after authorities in Washington State began investigating the couple for possible child neglect.

Preliminary toxicology tests found Jennifer Hart had an alcohol level of 0.102, said California Patrol Capt. Bruce Carpenter. California drivers are considered drunk with a level of.08 or higher.

When asked if it appeared whether Sarah Hart and the children were "knocked out" by the ingredient, Carpenter said he was not going to speculate.

Results for a third child were not yet released, Carpenter said, adding that none of the car's occupants were wearing seatbelts.

The California Highway Patrol has also said the crash is thought to have been intentional.

At some point between the family's last sighting that night and March 26, when their SUV was found at the bottom of the cliff - likely several hours after landing there - it appears Jennifer Hart had a few drinks.

Authorities in the U.S. have reportedly confirmed that the woman's body found from the Eel River was that of Keralite Soumya Thottapilly, who along with her husband and two children went missing earlier this month.

The 100-foot (31-meter) drop killed the women, both 39, and their children Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14.

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Police hadn't found the bodies of Devonte Hart and his adoptive sisters, 16-year-old Hannah Hart and 12-year-old Sierra.

Devonte drew national attention after he was photographed in tears while hugging a white police officer during a 2014 protest.

KGW obtained a 911 call that provided further clues to what was happening when the Harts left their Washington home and drove to California.

Long before the crash, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty in 2011 to a domestic assault charge in Minnesota over what she said was a spanking given to one of her children.

According to the Police Department at San Jose, the family was supposed to meet with a friend in San Jose on April 6 but they did not make it.

Authorities, who originally had said the body was a child's, anticipate that an autopsy will be performed early next week.

Cheryl Hart, who identified herself as a friend of Sarah Hart, called 911 in Clark County on Monday, March 26, anxious because she hadn't been able to reach Sarah since receiving a text message from her at 3 a.m. two days earlier. But after spending two weeks with the family Argyropoulos said she noticed kindness, love and respect for the children was largely absent. Allman says DNA analysis from biological family members will be used to determine her identity.


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