Saoirse Kennedy Hill, a granddaughter of Ethel and Robert F. Kennedy, was found dead Thursday at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis, Massachusetts, the family confirmed in a statement. Barnstable police said they had responded to an unattended death, and the Cape and Island District Attorney’s office said authorities would be investigating.
“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the family said in a statement. “Her life was filled with hope, promise and love … She lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit. Saoirse was passionately moved by the causes of human rights and women’s empowerment and found great joy in volunteer work, working alongside indigenous communities to build schools in Mexico. We will love her and miss her forever.”
The statement from Brian O’Connor, a spokesman for her uncle Robert F. Kennedy Jr., noted her 91-year-old grandmother Ethel said “the world is a little less beautiful today.”
The cause of death was not publicly announced.
Saoirse, 22, was the daughter of Courtney, the fifth child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. Her father, Paul Michael Hill, was one of four falsely convicted in the 1974 Irish Republican Army bombings of two pubs, according The Associated Press.
Boston College said she was a student in the Class of 2020.
In 2007, police investigated after 10-year-old Saoirse said two men in a white van pulled up to her in front of the family’s home in Cape Cod and asked her if she wanted a ride. She said she ran away, People reported at the time.
Paramedics were called to the compound Thursday afternoon. Public records indicate the residence belonged to Ethel Kennedy.
The Kennedy compound consists of three houses on six acres on the waterfront along Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts. In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy and his young family were often photographed there, and it served as the “summer White House” while he was in office.
Since then, extended members of the Kennedy family have gathered there for various family events, including a family party on July 4. Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, posted a photo on Instagram of the dozens of attendees.
The late Sen. Ted Kennedy kept the main house as his residence until his death in 2009.