The June 2016 deaths of an Idaho mom and her three young children have been ruled as intentional, according to a statement from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.
In a statement released on Friday, the Sheriff’s Office announced that they had concluded their investigation and determined that Noel Bankhead, 40, purposefully drove her Land Rover off of a cliff and into a reservoir, killing herself and her children just before 7 a.m. in June 2016.
According to the statement, the cause of death for Bankhead and her children — Anika, 13, Gwyneth, 8, and Logan Voermans, 11 — as drowning associated with blunt force trauma. And while Bankhead’s death has been ruled a suicide, the deaths of the three children are considered homicides, according to the statement.
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According to the statement, witnesses told investigators that Bankhead “positioned the car towards the cliff” and then “suddenly accelerated.” Investigators found no skid or brake marks to show where the SUV went over the edge, police said in the statement.
In an tweet from the day of the accident, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office noted that the distance from the cliff to the water was between 50-to-70 feet.
— Ada County Sheriff (@AdaCoSheriff) June 3, 2016
The estimated distance from cliff to water where SUV went is between 50-to-70 feet pic.twitter.com/e6w71LJlYw
— Ada County Sheriff (@AdaCoSheriff) June 2, 2016
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According to the statement there was no evidence of mechanical issues in Bankhead’s car and that after performing a toxicology test during her autopsy, it was found that there was no presence of drugs or alcohol in Bankhead’s bloodstream at the time of her death.