UPDATE: Search Teams and Police Find Gideon McKean’s Body Two Days After His Mother is Found

April 8, 2020

UPDATE: On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, The Maryland Natural Resources Police Underwater Operations Team found Gideon McKean’s body at approximately 1:40 p.m., this afternoon nearly 2.3 miles south of his grandmother’s residence in Shady Side, and approximately 2,000 feet from where his mother’s body was found two days ago, on Monday evening.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police was assisted in their search by the Charles County Dive and Rescue Team, and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

UPDATE On April 6, 2020: The Maryland Natural Resources Police and the Charles County Dive and Rescue Team has been onsite for days providing their assistance to Anne Arundel Fire, and others, and after a days-long search that involved aviation, underwater imaging sonar technology, police and members of the Charles County Dive and Rescue, members recovered Maeve McKean’s body in approximately 25 foot deep water about 2.5 miles south of her mother’s Shady Side residence. All members will continue to search for her sons body Tuesday morning at sunlight. The Charles County Dive and Rescue Team offers condolences to the Townsend/McKean/Kennedy families during this time of sorrow and grief.

Updates will be provided when they become available.

McKean’s Mother, Former Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend released the following statement 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,”

“Our Maeve devoted her life to helping society’s most vulnerable. She did everything with her full self and her whole heart. She gave the best hugs, sang loudly and out of tune, danced, wrestled, argued, forgave. Maeve shone. The fire emanating from her soul warmed us all.”

41-year-old Maeve Townsend is the Grand-Niece of John F. Kennedy, and Granddaughter to Robert F. Kennedy.

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean and her son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, went missing on sometime in the afternoon/evening of Thursday, April 2, 2020, after the mother and child were reportedly playing with a ball near their waterfront house when the ball went into the water. Maeve and her son hopped into a small canoe/kayak to track down and retrieve it, when they were swept out and unable to paddle back to land.

Maryland authorities said an overturned small canoe matching the description of the Kennedy’s had been recovered, but the two subjects have not yet been found.

The Coast Guard released a small press release Friday night. The Coast Guard is searching for two canoers last sighted ten miles south of Annapolis near Herring Bay, Maryland, Thursday evening.

The missing canoers have been identified as Maeve Fahey Townsend, and her 8 year-old son Gideon.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Maryland National Capitol Region command center received a report from Maryland State Police members that two individuals were seen struggling to return to shore in a canoe near Herring Bay and not seen again by the reporting individual.

An Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew and a Coast Guard Station Annapolis 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew were launched to assist in the search.

An Air Station Elizabeth City C-130 Hercules aircrew and a Coast Guard Station Inigoes boat crew are continuing the search Friday morning along with the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Angela McShan.

Also assisting in the search are members of the Queen Anne Police Department, Arundel Police Department, Maryland Natural Resource Police, and Maryland State Police.

Anyone with additional information regarding this case should contact the Sector Maryland command center at 410-576-2525.

David McKean released the following statement on Facebook yesterday afternoon.

“I am writing here to address the countless people who have loved my wife Maeve and my son Gideon. As many of you have seen, they went missing in the Chesapeake Bay yesterday afternoon. I tried to reach out personally to as many people as possible before the news became public. However, I know that I was only able to scratch the surface. For those of you learning of this news here, I am sorry. I know Maeve would have loved for you to have gotten a personal call.

Despite heroic efforts by the Coast Guard and many state and local authorities, the decision has now been made to suspend the active rescue effort. The search that began yesterday afternoon went on throughout the night and continued all day today. It is now dark again. It has been more than 24 hours, and the chances they have survived are impossibly small. It is clear that Maeve and Gideon have passed away.

The search for their recovery will continue, and I hope that that will be successful.

I know that people have many questions about what happened as we grapple with this tragedy. Here is what I have come to understand. We were self-quarantining in an empty house owned by Maeve’s mother Kathleen on the Chesapeake Bay, hoping to give our kids more space than we have at home in DC to run around. Gideon and Maeve 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. About 30 minutes later they were spotted by an onlooker from land, who saw them far out from shore, and called the police. 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.

Gideon was 8, but he may as well have been 38. He was deeply compassionate, declining to sing children’s songs if they contained a hint of animals or people being treated cruelly. He hated if I accidently let a bad word slip. He spent hours upstairs reading, learning everything he could about sports, and trying to decipher the mysteries of the stock market. But he was also incredibly social, athletic, and courageous. For his school picture, he gathered a couple of his many friends to be in the shot with him. He played every sport he could, complaining to me that even though he was often playing six days a week, there was still that seventh day, and why hadn’t I signed him up for something else. And he was brave, leading his friends in games, standing up to people who he thought were wrong (including his parents), and relishing opportunities to go on adventures with friends, even those he’d just met. It is impossible to sum up Gideon here. I am heartbroken to even have to try. 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.

Maeve turned 40 in November, and she was my everything. She was my best friend and my soulmate. I have already thought many times over today that I need to remember to tell Maeve about something that’s happening. I am terrified by the idea that this will fade over time. 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. There were weeks when we had people over to our house so often that our kids would be confused when we were just having dinner as a family. Maeve once spent the hours before New Year’s Eve organizing a 40-person party at our house, complete with a face painter, during a cross country flight home, while also reading to one of our kids in her lap. She once landed in DC after a 30-hour trip home from Asia, and then took a cab straight to the pool to play with our kids. She did the Peace Corps, she ran the Boston Marathon, she knew how rub Gabriella’s legs when they cramped, and being in her presence somehow allowed you to be a better version of yourself. She was the brightest light I have ever known.

At seven, Gabriella is heartbroken, but she amazes me with her maturity and grace. Toby is two-and-a-half, so he’s still his usual magical and goofy self. I know soon he will start to ask for Maeve and Gideon. It breaks my heart that he will not get to have them as a mother and brother.

There has been an overwhelming outpouring of love and support from so many people. Given who Maeve and Gideon were, I am not the least surprised. I am trying my best to respond. Many have asked what they can do. I don’t have any answers for that right now. If people have photos of Maeve or Gideon, those would be great for us to have, especially for me to share with Gabriella and Toby. And feel free to tell stories here. As Gabriella and Toby lay sleeping next to me last night, I promised them that I would do my best to be the parent that Maeve was, and to be the person that Gideon clearly would have grown up to be. Part of that is keeping their memories alive. Any help with that would be welcome.”

While many people are calling it the continuation of the Kennedy Curse, the chronological timeline below shows the Kennedy family has had a tragic and unfortunate life of events dating back to 1941 to this week’s incident.

November, 1941: Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy (Joseph P. Kennedy’s Daughter) Kennedy’s mental capacity diminished to that of a two-year-old child after a failed lobotomy She could not walk or speak intelligibly and was incontinent. Rosemary died from natural causes in a Wisoncion Institution on January 7, in 2005, at the age of 86.

August 12, 1944: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., (Joseph Kennedy Sr’s Son) was killed in action during World War II at age 29, when an explosive aboard his land-based patrol bomber plane detonated prematurely while flying over the United Kingdom.

May 13, 1948: Kathleen Cavendish (Joseph Kennedy Sr’s Daughter) Kathleen married William Cavendish on May 6, 1944, and just four months after their marriage, and less than a month after Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was killed, Hartington was killed by a sniper during a battle with the Germans in Belgium. Kathleen and her new partner, Earl Fitzwilliam were flying to South France for vacation, both were killed in the crash. She was 28. He was 37.

August 9, 1963: Patrick Kennedy (Joseph Sr’s grandson & JFK’s Son), dies of infant respiratory distress syndrome at just two days old

November 22, 1963: John F Kennedy (Joseph Sr’s Son), 35th President of the United States, is assassinated in Dallas, Texas at age 46.

June 19, 1964: Ted Kennedy (Joseph Sr’s Son), US Senator, suffers life-long injuries after the plane he was in, crashed into an apple orchard in western Massachusetts. The pilot and Edward Moss (one of Kennedy’s aides) were killed in the crash.

June 6, 1968: Robert F. Kennedy (Joseph Sr’s Son), a US Senator. Is shot three times in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. He dies 25 hours after the shooting.

July 18, 1969: Ted Kennedy accidentally drives his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. Ted survives, but his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne drowns to death. She was 28.

August 13, 1973: Joseph P. Kennedy II (Joseph Kennedy Sr’s Grandson & Robert Kennedy’s Son), Is involved in a rollover accident when he was driving a Jeep. His brother David A. Kennedy, suffered a shattered vertebrae and David’s Girlfriend, Pamela Kelley is left permanently paralyzed. David then became addicted to the painkillers given to him for injuries from the crash while also starting to use heroin.

April 25, 1984: David A. Kennedy (Joseph Sr’s Grandson & RFK’s Son), is found dead in his Palm Beach Hotel suite. He died at age 28 from an overdose of cocaine, Demerol, and Mellaril.

December 31, 1997: Michael LeMoyne Kennedy (Joseph Sr’s Grandson & RFK’s Son), dies in a skiing accident in Aspen Mountain, Colorado at age 39.

July 16, 1999: John F. Kennedy Jr. died (Joseph Sr’s Grandson & JFK’s Son) John, along with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her sister (John’s sister-in-law) Lauren Bessette, were flying to attend the wedding of John’s cousin, when the plane he was flying crashed into the water due to pilot error. All three were found dead in the plane over 100 feet down in the Atlantic Ocean four days later.

August 25, 2009: Ted Kennedy Kennedy dies on August 25, 2009 of a malignant brain tumor at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, at age 77

September 16, 2011: Kara Kennedy (Joseph Sr’s Granddaughter and Ted’s Daughter) Suffers a fatal heart at attack at a Washington, D.C. health club after her daily workout. She was 51

May 16, 2012: Mary Richardson Kennedy (Robert F Kennedy Jr’s ex-wife) commits suicide at her home in Bedford, New York, at age 52.

August 1, 2019: Saoirse Kennedy Hill (Joseph Sr’s Great Granddaughter and RFK’s Granddaughter), dies of suspected drug overdose at the Joseph P. Kennedy House in Barnstable, Massachusetts at aged 22.

April 3, 2020: Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean aged 40 (Joseph Sr’s Great Granddaughter and RFK’s Granddaughter) and her 8-year-old Son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean (Joseph Sr’s great-great grandson and RFK’s great grandson), goes missing with his mother trying to retrieve a ball from the water, aged 8.

All sources cited. Wikipedia, FOX5.

Updates will be provided when they become available.