The body of Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter was found on Monday by Maryland authorities, four days after she and her eight-year-old son disappeared in a canoe in Chesapeake Bay.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, was found dead in 25 feet of water just after 5.30pm on Monday by the Charles County Dive and Rescue team, authorities said.
The search for her eight-year-old son Gideon will continue Tuesday as authorities presume he is dead.
Maeve, a public health and human rights lawyer, was found about 2.5 miles south of the Shady Side, Maryland home of her mother, former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
Maeve is one of granddaughters of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a great-niece of former President John F. Kennedy.
The body of Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, who went missing in a canoe Thursday in Chesapeake Bay was found by Maryland authorities Monday night, but the search for her eight-year-old son Gideon continues
Meave and husband David McKean are pictured with their three children, Gideon, Gabriella and Toby in a recent Facebook snap
Meave and David with their three children in a recent photo
Neighbors and members of the DC community left cards to Maeve and her young son on a tree outside their Washington DC home following news of their disappearance
The mother and son disappeared on Thursday as they were canoeing in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
They climbed into the canoe to retrieve a lost ball from a waterfront home, when they failed to return to shore.
Both McKean and her son were seen struggling to return to shore during a canoe trip near Herring Bay, Washington, DC.
A search conducted by the US Coast Guard ended for the two on Saturday but state Natural Resources police continued it.
The family had moved out of their Washington DC home into the Shady Side, Maryland home of Maeve’s mother to escape the coronavirus outbreak.
Maeve was a public health and human rights lawyer who serves as executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative. She graduated from the prestigious Washington, DC college with a law degree.
Maeve married her husband David McKean in 2009 and together they shared three young children – Gideon, eight; Gabriella, seven; and Toby, two and a half.
Maeve and David were spending time with their three children at the family lakehouse in Shady Side, Maryland (above) when the tragedy occurred
The family is usually based in Washington DC, but had moved to a family lakehouse in Shady Side amid the coronavirus crisis
The Maryland State Police, US Coast Guard, and local police and fire departments all joined the search the the mother and son over the weekend
McKean’s mother, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, is the eldest daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy and niece of the late President John F. Kennedy. Kathleen and Maeve are pictured above in 1995
Over the weekend McKean shared a heartbreaking Facebook post paying tribute to his wife after she and Gideon were assumed to be drowned.
In his Facebook post, David explained that he and Maeve had decided to take their children to a family lakehouse in Shady Side, Maryland to give them more space to play during the coronavirus lockdown.
‘Maeve and Gideon were playing kickball by the small, shallow cove behind the house, and one of them kicked the ball into the water. The cove is protected, with much calmer wind and water than in the greater Chesapeake. They got into a canoe, intending simply to retrieve the ball, and somehow got pushed by wind or tide into the open bay,’ David stated in his post.
About half an hour later, the mother and son were spotted far from the shore by a neighbor, and the police were promptly called.
‘After that last sighting, they were not seen again. The Coast Guard recovered their canoe, which was capsized and miles away, at approximately 6:30 yesterday evening,’ David somberly stated.
Authorities said at the time that their boat appeared to have been ‘overtaken by the strong winds’ that day.
David remembered Maeve as his ‘best friend’ and ‘soulmate’.
‘You could hear Maeve’s laugh a block away—and she laughed a lot. She was magical—with endless energy that she would put toward inventing games for our children, taking on another project at work or in our community, and spending time with our friends,’ he stated.
David McKean confirmed on Thursday that his wife, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, and son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean (center right) were missing
Kathleen’s brother, Robert F Kennedy Jr, announced on Instagram that the rescue operation had been called off
David shared his heartbreaking post to Facebook after the Coast Guard called off the search for his wife and young son
On Sunday Robert F Kennedy Jr shared an Instagram post showing over 100 members of the extended Kennedy family in a Zoom video conference prayer meeting following the loss of Maeve and Gideon
Tributes have poured in for Maeve and her son, many from the extended Kennedy family still reeling from the death of another one of Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughters Saoirse Kennedy Hill who died of an overdose at the age of 22 last year.
Saoirse, who was the daughter of Courtney Kennedy Hill, is Maeve’s cousin.
Maeve’s mother is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who served as Maryland’s sixth lieutenant governor from 1995 until 2003.
Kennedy Townsend released her own statement about the presumed death of her daughter on Friday night.
‘With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery’.
Meanwhile, Maeve’s cousin and Massachusetts Senate hopeful, Joe Kennedy III, also released a statement.
‘We love you Maeve. We love you Gideon. Our family has lost two of the brightest lights,’ he wrote on Twitter, fearing the worst.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was married to Maeve’s aunt, Kerry Kennedy.
On Saturday, Governor Cuomo’s daughter, Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, also shared her personal tribute.
‘Maeve (my cousin) and Gideon (her son) had smiles that burst through their eyes and bought joy to all those around them,’ 22-year-old Michaela wrote.
‘Not being able to hold loved ones close and be together is crushing.’
On Sunday Robert F Kennedy Jr shared an Instagram post showing over 100 members of the extended Kennedy family in a Zoom video conference prayer meeting following the loss of Maeve and Gideon.
The disappearance comes less than a year after Saoirse Kennedy Hill (above), another of Robert F Kennedy’s granddaughters, died from an overdose at the age of 22. Saoirse, who was the daughter of Courtney Kennedy Hill, is Maeve’s cousin
THE KENNEDY CURSE: TRAGEDIES THAT ROCKED AMERICA’S MOST FAMOUS FAMILY
November 1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas at the age of 46
June 1968: Senator Robert F. Kennedy – who was campaigning to be the Democratic nominee in that year’s Presidential Election – is assassinated in Los Angeles at the age of 42
Curse: Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles at the age of 42
April 1984: Robert F. Kennedy’s son, David Kennedy, dies of a drug overdose age 28
December 1997: Robert F. Kennedy’s son, Michael Kennedy, dies in a skiing accident age 39
July 1999: President John F. Kennedy’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr, dies in a plane crash alongside his wife Carolyn Bessette in a plane crash at the age of 38
September 2011: Senator Edward Kennedy’s daughter, Kara Kennedy, dies of a heart attack age 51
May 2012: The wife of Robert F. Kennedy’s son, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, commits suicide at the age of 52
August 2019: Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter, Saoirse Kennedy Hill , dies of a drug overdose age 22
Camelot: President John F. Kennedy’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn, died in a plane crash in 1999