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The Real Housewives star was at the house when Russell Armstrong was found hanging, a source says

By Mike Fleeman
August 17, 2011 01:15 PM
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Credit: Jordan Strauss/WireImage

When Russell Armstrong failed to return cell phone calls and text messages, his worried, estranged wife Taylor went to the friend’s Los Angeles house where he was staying, a source tells PEOPLE.

It was there, on Monday night, that Russell was found hanging. The 47-year-old businessman was pronounced dead minutes later by paramedics.

While Taylor was at the Mulholland Drive home at the time, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star didn’t actually find the body, according to the source, who says she spent time there afterwards and is devastated.

L.A. County Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter confirms to PEOPLE, “His body was discovered by a friend. I don’t know if it was the owner of the house, but it was not the wife [who found him].”

Russell’s death came a month after Taylor, 40, filed for divorce and went public with allegations that he physically abused her. Russell was also facing severe financial problems and was being sued for $1.5 million.

Reporting by ULRICA WIHLBORG and KEN LEE