Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., died of asphyxiation due to hanging, the Westchester County, New York, medical examiner said Thursday after performing an autopsy.
Kennedy, 52, was found dead Wednesday in an outbuilding at her home in Bedford, N.Y., police said.
Officers who went to the residence at about 1:36 p.m. to investigate a possible “unattended death” found the body in an outbuilding on the property, the police said in a statement. The autopsy was conducted Thursday morning.
The hanging was previously reported by the New York Times, which cited two people with knowledge of the matter. The New York Daily News, citing unidentified people, reported that Kennedy committed suicide. The police Thursday confirmed her identity, declining to comment on the cause of death except to say it’s under investigation.
Kennedy’s family released a statement saying that descriptions of her in the news media since her death have been “wholly inconsistent with the sister we knew and the life she, in fact, lived.”
The family asked the media for “a few days to begin processing Mary’s tragic death and to fully understand all the circumstances around it” before they correct “inaccuracies and misrepresentations.” A private memorial service will be held in Manhattan, the family said.
“We loved Mary and knew her to be an exceptional mother, sibling and friend to many,” her family said in the statement.