Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean's Body Recovered by Maryland Police

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Maeve Kennedy McKean
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Maryland police announced Monday that they have recovered the body of Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, who disappeared alongside her son, Gideon, last Thursday night after they paddled a canoe into Chesapeake Bay. McKean is the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, and the daughter of former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

"After a days-long search that involved aviation and underwater imaging solar technology, authorities recovered missing person, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, on April 6 at approximately 5:31 pm," the Maryland Natural Resources Police said in a statement. 

The statement added that a dive and rescue team found McKean's body in 25 feet of water, approximately 2.5 miles south of her mother's house in Shady Side, Maryland, where she and her son took out the canoe.   

Officials said they would resume searching for Gideon on Tuesday. 

McKean's husband, David, said on Facebook that the family was "self-quarantining in an empty house" on the Chesapeake Bay, and that Maeve and Gideon were playing kickball when they got into the canoe to retrieve a ball. 

"They got into a canoe, intending simply to retrieve the ball, and somehow got pushed by wind or tide into the open bay. About 30 minutes later they were spotted by an onlooker from land, who saw them far out from shore, and called the police," McKean wrote.

Anne Arundel Fire Captain Erik Kornmeyer said that, despite arriving within five minutes of the onlooker's call, the fire dispatch was unable to reach the canoe. "Currents were pretty fast, they moved out of sight pretty quickly," he said, adding that conditions were "rough and windy" on Thursday night.

Boats and helicopters from the fire department, the City of Annapolis Fire Department, and the United States Coast Guard quickly began to search the bay, Kornmeyer said. Over two hours later, at 7 p.m., a canoe and paddle were found several miles from where McKean and her son were first spotted.

Earlier Monday, approximately 120 members of the Kennedy family held a prayer service on the video conferencing app Zoom. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose daughters are cousins of Maeve and Gideon, called their disappearance a "tragedy," and said it was "emotionally taxing" that the family couldn't be together in person. 

This story was originally published by CBS News on April 6, 2020 at 9:10 p.m. ET.

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