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RFK Jr.'s estranged wife found dead in New York

Updated 11:52 PM ET

(CBS/AP) Mary Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and who had fought drug and alcohol problems, was found dead in her home in Mount Kisco, New York. She was 52.

A statement from Mary Kennedy's family and obtained by CBS affiliate WCBS in New York reads: "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."

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Mary Kennedy had had trouble with drugs and alcohol. In 2010, Mary Kennedy was arrested twice, first in May for driving while intoxicated after a police officer witnessed her running over a curb outside a Westchester County school; she pled guilty to a lesser charge to avoid jail time.

Then in August that same year, she was arrested again for driving under the influence after being pulled over by police for going over 82 mph on the Taconic State Parkway in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reportedly filed divorce from Mary, his second wife, in 2010. Both of them have four children together.

In a statement issued by Robert Kennedy Jr.'s chief of staff, the family said Mary Kennedy "inspired our family with her kindness, her love, her gentle soul and generous spirit.

"Mary was a genius at friendship, a tremendously gifted architect and a pioneer and relentless advocate of green design who enhanced her cutting edge, energy efficient creations with exquisite taste and style," the family said.

The former Mary Richardson, a longtime connection of the Kennedy clan, married Robert Kennedy Jr., a prominent environmental lawyer and the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, in 1994. The couple had four children, the youngest born in July 2001. Robert Kennedy Jr. also has two children from a previous marriage.

Mary Kennedy was an architect and designer and had overseen the renovation of the couple's home into an environmentally advanced showpiece. Her family cited her devotion to her children in remembering her.

Neighbor Leslie Lampert, who owns the Cafe of Love restaurant a short drive from the Kennedy home, said Mary Kennedy was "at all times just a lovely individual."

"She was community oriented," Lampert said. "She was always kind in our presence."

Another neighbor, Kim Fraioli, a trauma therapist who lives a few houses down from the Kennedys, said the family was private.

"We left them alone," Fraioli. "We didn't have any interaction. I think it's a tragedy. It's very sad for their family and the surviving children. My heart goes out to the family."

At the home on Wednesday, a red brick mansion with a columned porch entrance set in a heavily wooded acreage, police kept media away.

Mary Richardson had known the Kennedys for years, through her friendship with Robert Kennedy Jr.'s sister, Kerry Kennedy, whom she met at boarding school. She had been Kerry Kennedy's maid of honor at her wedding in 1990.

The unexpected death of another person connected to the storied Kennedy clan brought to mind the other sorrows the famous family has suffered.

Shopping in Bedford, Diane Glokler said, "I've always just thought that family is very tragic. They keep having tragic things happening to them. It's heart-wrenching."

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