The body of Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean has been found by divers after she and her son went missing in a presumed canoe accident.
McKean, who is the granddaughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and her 8-year-old son, Gideon, went missing Thursday afternoon while canoeing on Chesapeake Bay. They had been self-quarantining at a family home in Maryland and decided to get into the water in an attempt to retrieve a ball that was kicked into the bay.
Investigators found 40-year-old McKean’s body 2.5 miles away from the residence sunken in 25 feet of water at about 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Aviation and underwater imaging sonar technology were used to discover the remains. Authorities said the search for Gideon would continue, although it was announced on Sunday that both were presumed dead.
McKean is also the daughter of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Her husband, David McKean, detailed his loss in a lengthy Facebook post on Friday. He described his wife as “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.”
“She was the brightest light I have ever known,” he said before describing his son as “incredibly social, athletic, and courageous.”
“It is impossible to sum up Gideon here. I am heartbroken to even have to try it,” McKean wrote. “I used to marvel at him as a toddler and worry that he was too perfect to exist in this world. It seems to me now that he was.”
The Coast Guard said there were 30 mph winds and waves 2 feet to 3 feet high at about the time the two went missing. Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean was the executive director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative.
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