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Body found near cliff crash scene ID'd as one of missing Hart children

The body of Ciera Hart, 12, was identified. Two other children, Devonte Hart and Hannah Hart, remain missing.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart with their six adopted children in 2016.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart with their six adopted children in 2016.Tristan Fortsch / KATU News, via AP

A California sheriff’s office said Tuesday that the body of a girl found near the scene of a deadly crash that killed five members of a family is that of one of the three children missing after that crash.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the body found on April 7 is that of Ciera Hart, 12, one of three children missing after a sport utility vehicle was driven off a cliff off Highway 1 near Westport, killing Sarah Hart; her wife, Jennifer Hart; and three other of their adopted children.

The sheriff’s office initially spelled Ciera’s name as Sierra, and said she was 15. Still missing after the March 26 crash is Devonte Hart, 15, and Hannah Hart, 16.

Devonte, who is black, was photographed in 2014 hugging a white police officer during a rally in Portland, Oregon, about the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the image gained national attention.

Authorities have said they believe that the crash may have been intentional. The sheriff’s office said last week that Jennifer Hart, believed to be the driver, was legally drunk with a blood alcohol level of 0.102 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has said that it was unclear whether the missing children were in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Two of the children previously confirmed dead had a positive finding for diphenhydramine, an active ingredient in Benadryl, the sheriff's office said last week. A California Highway Patrol official said last week that it's unclear what investigators are making of that finding.