Tragedy has struck the Kennedy family again: Robert F. Kennedy’s 22-year-old granddaughter Saoirse Kennedy Hill died on Thursday after being found in cardiac arrest at the family’s compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts.
The New York Times reports that emergency responders were called to the Cape Cod home on Thursday afternoon. According to the Hyannis News, a patient was in cardiac arrest when first responders arrived. Hill was reportedly transported to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where she was later pronounced dead.
The Kennedy family confirmed Hill’s death in a statement obtained by People magazine:
“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse. Her life was filled with hope, promise, and love. She cared deeply about friends and family, especially her mother Courtney, her father Paul, her stepmother Stephanie, and her grandmother Ethel.”
According to the New York Times, Hill was a communication major at Boston College, and had graduated from Deerfield Academy, a prep school in western Massachusetts. In 2016, she wrote an op-ed for the school newspaper about her ongoing battle with depression, which she said “will be with me for the rest of my life.” She also referenced a traumatic incident in which “someone I knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries with me,” which she said had triggered a severe depressive episode and suicide attempt.
It is unclear if the apparent drug overdose was intentional or unintentional, or what drugs may have been involved.
The Barnstable County District Attorney’s office confirmed the death at the Kennedy home, where RFK’s widow Ethel Kennedy lives, but did not identify the deceased in a statement obtained by the Hyannis News on Thursday. Authorities are continuing to investigate.
Earlier this afternoon Barnstable Police responded to a residence on Marchant Ave in Hyannisport for a reported unattended death. The matter remains under investigation by Barnstable Police and State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office.
Hill was one of the late Robert Kennedy’s 35 grandchildren. RFK was assassinated at age 42, three months after he announced his candidacy for president. Five years earlier, his older brother President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a presidential event in Dallas.
The famous family has long been plagued by tragedy: 20 years ago this summer, JFK’s son John F. Kennedy, Jr. died in a plane crash along with his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette. Two of RFK and Ethel Kennedy’s adult sons died prematurely; one in a skiing accident and one from an overdose.
[Feature image: Saoirse Kennedy Hill/Instagram]