Amber Marie Bently, Bay Area Socialite, Found Dead in Nevada

Douglas County sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of a San Francisco businesswoman, jewelry designer and socialite who was found dead in a Gardnerville, Nev., apartment.

Authorities on Wednesday said the body of 34-year-old Amber Marie Bently was discovered Friday by a process server who went to deliver an eviction notice at an apartment on High School Street.

Douglas County sheriff's Sgt. Pat Brooks said it appeared she had been dead for several weeks. No one had reported her missing.

"There was no evidence of criminal activity or foul play,'' Brooks said. He added that an autopsy did not pinpoint a cause of death and toxicology reports are pending, a process that could take six to eight weeks.

Gardnerville has a population of about 6,000 and is located 16 miles south of Carson City.

Bently is the former wife of Minden businessman Christopher Bently, CEO of Bently Holdings, a property management company with offices in Minden and San Francisco. Bently is also head of several other companies founded by his late father, Donald Bently, an engineer, philanthropist and businessman who died in October at the age of 87.

A man who answered the phone at Bently Holdings in Minden said the company would have no comment.

Amber Marie and Christopher Bently were active in the San Francisco social scene and enthusiasts of the Burning Man festival, held annually around Labor Day on Nevada's Black Rock Desert north of Reno. Christopher Bently serves on the advisory board of the Black Rock Arts Foundation as well as the Burning Man Project.

They restored the former Federal Reserve Bank in downtown San Francisco and renamed it the Bently Reserve. They also owned a spa, called Kamalaspa, in Union Square. The business has reportedly closed.

The couple was married for at least 10 years, according to published reports. About four years ago they were featured as the "new kids on the block'' on the San Francisco Social Diary website when they threw a pajama party at their posh Nob Hill penthouse.

In 2009, a collection of her jewelry designs was exhibited at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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