LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Bedford, CT (The Journal News/AP) - Mary Richardson Kennedy, wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., was found dead at her Bedford home Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

Her official cause of death has not been released, but a source close to the investigation told The Journal News that she hanged herself.

Bedford Police responded to 326 South Bedford Road about 1:36 p.m. Wednesday and found a body inside an outbuilding on the property, officials said.

Officials at the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Kennedy's body had been removed from the property Wednesday afternoon, but would not discuss how the 52-year-old died. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, officials said.

Kerry Lawrence, a White Plains attorney who had previously represented Kennedy in a drunken-driving case, also confirmed Kennedy's death, but he, too, would not discuss details surrounding the tragedy.

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her," the family said in a statement issued through Lawrence. "Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation."

South Bedford Road was closed heading toward Interstate 684 Wednesday afternoon. Helicopters hovered near the house.

Mary Kennedy, 52, was an architect and designer who, in 1994, married Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent environmental lawyer and son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. The couple had four children together.

She worked with a number of local causes including the Boys and Club of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco, where she volunteered for nearly a decade.

Brian Skanes, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club chapter, found the news "upsetting."
Skanes had worked alongside Kennedy on the organization's 2010 Humanitarian Award Dinner committee and had been in close contact with her that spring when she and her husband hosted a fundraiser at their newly renovated "green" eco-friendly home on South Bedford Road.

"In working with her to get that event ready, she was so full of energy and eager to help us," Skanes said. "To us, Mary was always very warm, gracious and generous - a person who was always willing to lend a hand."

During a tour of the home in April 2010, Mary Kennedy was warm and friendly to the media and product representatives who had come to take a look.

After guiding the group through the house - from basement mechanical rooms to the bedrooms on the top floor - she sat casually in a sunny nook talking over the experience of the renovation.

She had designed the work herself and recruited the craftsmen and product companies to showcase their work, engineering creative trades to get the house finished at a lower cost. She also pointed out touches like paper lamps from IKEA and boat-style design in the kitchen that took advantage of every available space.

The tour was offered just weeks before her life began to publically unravel.

On May 10, 2010, Mary Kennedy called 911, summoning police to her home. Responding officers reported she was "visibly intoxicated" and had "great difficulty collecting her thoughts and articulating her reasons for calling." She told police her husband was "verbally abusive to herself and her children."

Two days later, on May 12, 2010, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed to divorce his wife of 16 years.

The following day, Bedford police responded to the Kennedy home again for a "domestic incident" during which Robert Kennedy Jr. alleged she was intoxicated, records show.

On May 15, 2010, she was charged with driving while intoxicated after she drove into a curb outside the St. Patrick's School in Bedford.

She was arrested again on Aug. 21, 2010, after a state police officer pulled her over for speeding on the Taconic State Parkway in the Dutchess County town of Pleasant Valley and found that she had taken prescription medication before hitting the road in her 2004 Volvo.

Kennedy eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired, a violation, in connection with the Bedford arrest and had been driving with a conditional license when police charged her on the Taconic State Parkway. She had apparently been traveling 82 mph on her way to a yoga class.

On July 12, 2010 Pleasant Valley Town Justice Paul Caltagirone dismissed the driving-while-ability-impaired-by-drugs charge, noting in his decision that there was no evidence that Kennedy knew the combination of prescription drugs she had taken would diminish her driving abilities and that she had not intentionally abused the medication.

In another incident in 2007, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. drove his wife to get treatment at Northern Westchester Hospital, but she resisted, running from the car into the road, where he held her down "to keep her from hurting herself," Mount Kisco police records show.

"I remember she was acting kind of out of it, kind of crazy," the witness, Rae Kesten, told The Journal News in 2007. "She was running into the street and flailing her arms around. He was trying to restrain her. I didn't know if they were fighting or not, but I was concerned."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.ksdk.com/1gtrc4T