Authorities Retrieve Body of Ex-LG’s Daughter in the Bay

    Maryland Natural Resources Police announced Monday evening that they have retrieved the body of Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, the daughter of former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, in the Chesapeake Bay — about 96 hours after she went missing.

    But they still have not found the body of McKean’s 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, who was in a canoe with his mother that was carried out into rough waters on Thursday afternoon and capsized.

    A statement by Natural Resources Police said McKean’s body was found by a Charles County Rescue and Dive team at about 5:31 p.m. in 25 feet of water, approximately 2 1/2 miles from her mother’s house in Shady Side, where the canoe was launched.

    McKean’s family, who live in Washington, D.C., were staying at Townsend’s home along the South River so they could have more space for outdoor play during stay-at-home orders brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak. McKean and her son were playing kickball in the backyard when a ball inadvertently fell into the water. They jumped into a canoe to retrieve it, but the currents and winds swept them out to a more exposed part of the bay, authorities said, and they were unable to make it back to shore.

    McKean, 40, was a public health and human rights lawyer who most recently was the director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative. She is survived by her husband, David McKean, who is also a public interest attorney, and two children, Gabriella, 7, and Toby, 2.

    [Read Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s statement from Friday evening about her daughter and grandson]

    Maeve McKean was the second of four daughters of Townsend, and her ex-husband, David Townsend, a professor at St. John’s College in Annapolis.

    Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who served as lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2003 under former Gov. Parris N. Glendening, is the daughter of the late U.S. attorney general and senator, Robert F. Kennedy.

    In a tweet Monday evening, Michael Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), said “the governor has been briefed, and the family has been notified” about the discovery of McKean’s body.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.