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Mary Kennedy Found Dead on Bedford Estate [Updated]

Police were called to "an unattended death" at 1:36 p.m. in an out-building on the property.

Updated, 6:05 p.m. Thursday

The Westchester County Medical Examiner's office released a statement Thursday afternoon saying Mary Kennedy's cause of death was asphyxiation due to hanging.

Updated, 11:40 a.m. Thursday

The New York Times is reporting that Kennedy's body was found hanging in a barn behind their home and that authorities who responded to the scene had attempted to cut her down and revive her. Kennedy apparently left a note.

Authorities have not released a cause of death and an autopsy is scheduled for this morning.

Original Story

Mary Kennedy, the 52-year-old estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., was found dead in her Bedford home today. 

The Kennedy family released a statement to the press Wednesday evening:

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her. Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation. We have no further comment at this time."

The Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed her death to Patch. They will be conducting an autopsy to determine the cause.

Bedford police responded to the Kennedy residence at 326 South Bedford Road at 1:36 p.m. to investigate what they described as an "unattended death" discovered in an out-building on the property. They did not say what prompted them to go there.

Bedford resident Peter Michaelis, photographer and former journalist, shared personal photos with Patch of Kennedy, whom he had known as a teenager growing up in Washington, D.C. and later, as a fellow student at Brown University.

"I've lost a dear friend," he said. "She was a wonderful person and a wonderful mother—she was always there for you."  Michaelis, who also photographed her said he saw her in recent weeks and knew she was having a "rough time," but there was no indication something like this could happen. He said he was shocked and saddened by her death.

The Kennedys were married in 1994; Robert Kennedy, Jr. filed for divorce in May 2010.

That news of their split two years ago followed a . 

On May 15, 2010, after police said she arrived at the St. Patrick's Carnival and drove up onto a curb. She failed field sobriety tests at the scene and was charged with DWI but

Police records also showed two visits to the Kennedy home prior to the DWI arrests including a 911 call after which Mary Kennedy reported that she had an argument with family members and led police officers to file state domestic incident report and a second call reporting a squabble between the Kennedy children. No further investigation is pending either of the two domestic incidents.

Later that summer, Kennedy was arrested and charged after she was allegedly caught driving 82 miles per hour on the Taconic State Parkway. She was brought to Troop K headquarters in Poughkeepsie where tests allegedly revealed that she had prescription medication in her system. In addition to the DWAI charge, police ticketed Kennedy for speeding.

In September 2010, to charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs in Pleasant Valley town court.

The downward spiral followed a harmonious picture of the couple that was presented in April 2010, to the media. Mary Kennedy was an architect who said she was responsible for the energy efficient home's design.  

Robert Kennedy, Jr. divorced his previous wife, Emily Ruth Black, in 1994.

News of Mary Kennedy's death prompted the imediate response of news organizations large and small to the brick colonial residence off of Route 172 in Bedford. At 6 p.m. Beford police asked everyone to leave.

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