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Body of Gideon McKean, great-grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, found after 5-day search

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean's body recovered

Maryland police announced Wednesday that they have recovered the body of 8-year-old Gideon McKean. The announcement comes two days after police found the body of Gideon's mother, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, and nearly a week after the pair disappeared after paddling a canoe into Chesapeake Bay. 

"After a five-day search that involved aviation and underwater imaging sonar technology, authorities recovered missing person, Gideon McKean, on April 8th at approximately 1:40 pm," the Maryland Natural Resources Police said in a statement. Officials said they found his body in 25 feet of water, 2.3 miles south of his grandmother's home in Shady Side, Maryland, where the canoe was launched. He was found approximately 2,000 feet from his mother. 

According to McKean's husband David, the family had been "self-quarantining in an empty house" on the Chesapeake Bay when Maeve and Gideon decided to play kickball. They got in the canoe to retrieve a lost 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 on Facebook.

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean and her son Gideon Facebook/David McKean

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, Anne Arundel Fire Captain Erik Kornmeyer said. More than two hours after the pair was reported missing, a canoe and paddle were found floating several miles from where they were first seen. 

Approximately 120 members of the Kennedy family came together Monday to hold a memorial service on Zoom for the pair, who were presumed dead even before their bodies were recovered. 

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