Jennifer Hart was intoxicated when she drove her wife and six children off a California cliff nearly three weeks ago in a crash that appears to have been intentional, authorities said Friday.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart and three of their children were killed in the car crash. Three of the Hart children are still missing.
Jennifer Hart had a blood alcohol level of .102 at the time of the crash, California Highway Patrol Capt. Bruce Carpenter said at a press conference Friday. The legal limit for driving in California is 0.08.
Carpenter also said that Sarah Hart and two of the couple’s children had “a significant amount” of an ingredient found in Benadryl in their system, the Associated Press reported.
Beginning in 2008, Sarah and Jennifer Hart faced repeated child abuse allegations from teachers and neighbors as they moved from Minnesota to Oregon to Washington with their six adopted children. Child services officials attempted to visit the Harts on March 23, after neighbors reported that one of the children, Devonte, had come to their house multiple times asking for food. None of the Harts answered the door.
Hours later, Sarah Hart sent an alarming text message to a friend in the middle of the night, saying she was so sick she might have to go to the hospital, according to a 911 call obtained by the Oregonian. The friend was unable to reach her after that.
By the next morning, the Harts had left town. The wreckage of their car crash was discovered on March 26.
Investigators have been concerned by several details about the crash — no one in the SUV was wearing seat belts, there were no skid marks at the site of the crash, and there were no suitcases to suggest the family had planned to go on a trip.
“There are more reasons to believe that this was intentional than there are to believe that this was an accident,” Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman told TIME last week.
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