There were lots of houses nearby with lights on, but Kennedy avoided them after he escaped from the car, so he could sneak back to his hotel undetected and begin establishing an alibi. Evidently, Kennedy is better than Edwards at sneaking into and out of hotels.
If Mary Jo had suffocated, then she had been alive for hours after the car plunged into the water. But an autopsy was required to determine whether Kopechne had drowned or suffocated.
Both the coroner and the diver who retrieved Mary Jo's body from the car believed Mary Jo had suffocated, not drowned. The diver found her body contorted in the back of the submerged car as if she had been trying to press her face into the last air pocket in the car. The coroner concluded there wasn't enough water in Mary Jo's body to indicate a drowning.
But for the first time in Massachusetts history, no autopsy was performed in a possible manslaughter case. Mary Jo was buried within about an hour of her body being pulled out of the channel under the Chappaquiddick Bridge.
Naturally, Kennedy wanted a thorough investigation -- to clear his name! -- but the Kopechnes absolutely refused to consent to an autopsy of their daughter. What more could he do? The Kopechnes' lawyer, Joseph Flanagan, refused to say who was paying him to fight the autopsy.
Similarly, Edwards aggressively offered to take a paternity test, knowing that the New Age hippie chick who still thinks she's going to marry him would not hurt him by allowing a paternity test. Edwards certainly is adept at reading stupid women, or as his campaign called them, "the base."
Democrats are always claiming to have the Kennedy magic, but, once again, another Kennedy-wannabe falls short. To be a real Kennedy, John, you have to kill her.