Sunday 18 August 2019

'No signs of trauma' after 22-year-old Kennedy girl's death

MOURNED: Saoirse Kennedy Hill died of a suspected overdose
MOURNED: Saoirse Kennedy Hill died of a suspected overdose

Dan Whitcomb

An autopsy conducted on the 22-year-old granddaughter of the late Robert F Kennedy found no trauma to her body - leaving her cause of death to be determined after toxicology tests, the local district attorney's office has announced.

Saoirse Kennedy Hill was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Massachusetts last Thursday after she was found unresponsive at the Kennedy family's compound in nearby Hyannis Port, the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office said.

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Hill, the granddaughter of 91-year-old family matriarch Ethel Kennedy, was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the district attorney's office.

The New York Times, citing two unnamed people described as close to the Kennedy family, said that Hill was believed to have died of an overdose.

"An autopsy performed today has revealed no trauma inconsistent with lifesaving measures. The cause and manner of death are pending the toxicology report," the district attorney's office said in the statement.

The case was under investigation by Barnstable Police and State Police detectives.

Hill was a student at Boston College, where she was a communications major and vice president of the Student Democrats, according to the New York Times.

The newspaper said she had written about struggling with depression while a student at a private preparatory school in Massachusetts in 2016.

She was the only child of Paul Hill and Courtney Kennedy Hill, who was the fifth of 11 children of Ethel and Robert Kennedy. Paul Hill, who born in Belfast, was one of the Guildford Four, a group of men wrongly convicted of bombings carried out by the IRA in 1974.

"Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse," the Robert F Kennedy family said in a statement. "Her life was filled with hope, promise and love."

"The world is a little less beautiful today," Ethel Kennedy said in the statement.

"A brave young woman left our world yesterday. She left a gaping hole in the lives of all those who loved her dearly," Saoirse Kennedy Hill's great aunt, Maria Shriver, said.

"May God bless her. May God hold her parents during this unbearable hour and give them the strength to make it through," Shriver said.

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