The granddaughter of a former US Presidential candidate, Robert F Kennedy, for Maeve Kennedy McKean, 41, and her son, Gideon, are feared dead in a both accident.
Mrs McKean and her son, eight-year-old Gideon, were last seen on Thursday evening in a canoe off Chesapeake Bay.
“They just got farther out than they could handle and couldn’t get back in,” said Ms McKean’s husband, David McKean, to the Washington Post newspaper.
Maeve is the daughter of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
Townsend is the eldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 while running for president, and the niece of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated five years earlier in Dallas.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, Townsend’s daughter, and her 8-year-old son, Gideon, got into a canoe Thursday in the water of Chesapeake Bay off their home in Shady Side, Maryland, “to retrieve a ball and were unable to paddle back to shore,” according to Maryland Natural Resources Police.
Townsend released a statement Friday night saying,
“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 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,” the statement continued. “My family thanks all for the outpouring of love and prayers as we grieve and try to bear this devastating loss.”
A source close to McKean’s family had previously said in a statement on behalf of the family:
“At this time, our family asks for privacy and that everyone keep Maeve and Gideon in their prayers.”
Maeve was an adjunct professor in bioethics and human rights and was executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative. She also served on the boards of the Brady Campaign, a gun control nonprofit, and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights charity.
Maryland State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard and local police and fire departments took part in the search.
Just last summer, another one of RFK’s granddaughters, Saiorse Kennedy Hill, died of an accidental overdose while at the family’s Hyannis Port compound.
Dating back to John F. Kennedy and RFK’s assassinations in the ’60s, the family’s endured countless tragedies — including JFK Jr.’s fatal plane crash in 1999, and Michael Kennedy’s death in a 1997 skiing accident, TMZ reports.