ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The body of Gideon McKean, Robert F. Kennedy’s great-grandson, has been found after a days-long search of the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland Natural Resources Police said teams found the 8-year-old at around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday about 2.3 miles south of his grandmother’s home in Shady Side near Annapolis where the canoe was launched.

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An undated photo of 8-year-old Gideon McKean. A search is underway for the bodies him and his 40-year-old Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean. McKean is the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy. Photo credit: David McKean/Facebook


Gideon and his mother Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean had been missing for since last Thursday when the canoe they were in was pushed out in the Bay by the wind. They were playing kickball when the ball went into the water in a cove near a home they were staying in near Shady Side. The got into the canoe to retrieve the ball.

A passerby called 911 after reportedly seeing the pair in the middle of the Bay in distress, but they were never seen again.

Authorities said he was found about 2,000 feet from where his mother’s body was found on Monday.

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McKean, 40, was the daughter of former lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy.

McKean was the executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative in Washington D.C. where the family resides. She married her husband David in 2009 and they have two other children, 7-year-old Gabriella and 2-year-old Toby.

David McKean issued a statement on Facebook last week and said, in part:

“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,” McKean said. “The search for their recovery will continue, and I hope that that will be successful.”

“With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery,” Kennedy Townsend said in a statement on Friday. “Our hearts are crushed, yet we shall try to summon the grace of God and what strength we have to honor the hope, energy and passion that Maeve and Gideon set forth into the world. My family thanks all for the outpouring of love and prayers as we grieve and try to bear this devastating loss.”

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