Search Resumed for 2 Kennedy Family Members Lost in Chesapeake Bay

April 5, 2020 Updated: April 5, 2020

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Divers and boats on Saturday resumed the search in the Chesapeake Bay for the bodies of the daughter and a grandson of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Maryland police said.

The search began Thursday afternoon after a report of a canoe in the bay that didn’t return to shore and appeared to be overtaken by strong winds. The search was suspended Saturday night and would resume Sunday morning, a Maryland Natural Resources Police news release said.

The missing canoeists were identified as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and McKean’s 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean.

David McKean, Maeve Kennedy Townsend Mckean and family attend the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019
David McKean, Maeve Kennedy Townsend Mckean and family attend the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction In NYC in New York City on Dec. 12, 2019. (Mike Pont/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

“With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery,” Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said in a statement Friday night.

Kennedy Townsend, who served two terms as Maryland’s lieutenant governor, is the eldest daughter of the late U.S. Attorney General and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and niece of the late President John F. Kennedy.

Vessels on Saturday conducted sonar operations around the area where the two were last seen and where their overturned canoe was recovered, according to police.

The mother and son may been paddling the canoe from a home in Shady Side, Maryland, to retrieve a ball and couldn’t paddle back to shore, police said earlier.

Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean
Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. (Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean/Twitter via AP)

Maeve McKean, a public health and human rights lawyer, served as executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative. She graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and law school.

“Maeve was a master connector who brought together faculty and students across disciplines and schools in order to advance our shared mission for improving health and advancing justice, particularly for those left out or left behind,” John Monahan, an adviser to Georgetown’s president, said in a news release Saturday. Monahan said the university community is “heartsick” about what happened.