RFK’s Granddaughter Maeve McKean’s Cause Of Death Revealed After Canoe Accident

The cause of death for Maeve McKean, Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter, was confirmed in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife 5 days after her husband David revealed that she and their son Gideon had passed.

Maeve McKean
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Image Credit: CQ Roll Call via AP Images

UPDATE, 4/9/20, 10:11am ET: The body of eight-year-old Gideon McKean was found on April 8, just 2000 feet away from where his mother, Maeve’s body was discovered two days prior, authorities confirmed. The tragic discovery comes six days after the mother and son went missing after launching a canoe into the choppy waters of the Chesapeake Bay to retrieve a lost ball. Both Gideon and Maeve’s bodies were about 2.5 miles away from where they set out in their canoe.

ORIGINAL: Officials confirmed on Wednesday, April 8, that Maeve McKean accidentally drowned in the turbulent waters of the Chesapeake Bay after a canoeing accident happened with her 8-year-old son. The Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland reported that the cause of death of Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean was drowning and that the manner is an accident according to a statement obtained by HollywoodLife. She just turned 40 in November. Maeve was found around 5:31 p.m. local time on Monday, April 6, four days after the search to find her and her missing son, Gideon, began following their Thursday, April 2nd canoe accident. The location of her body was about 2.5 miles away from her mother’s waterfront property in Shady Side, Maryland, where she was staying before the accident. Maryland National Resources Police said in a press release that her body was found in about 25 feet of water.

Maeve’s husband David McKean confirmed his wife and son’s death on Friday, April 3, in a tragic statement shared on Facebook. “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,” he wrote in part. He also spoke lovingly about the two of them within his post, calling Maeve his “everything” and saying that Gideon was a “deeply compassionate” person who had a love for reading and sports.

David and Maeve were married in 2009 and have two other children: Gabrielle, 7, and Toby, 2. He revealed that his daughter is “heartbroken” by the news in his Facebook post but that Toby is still “his usual magical and goofy self.” Prior to her passing she worked as an executive director at the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative. Her work is in Washington D.C., which is also where her family lives.

Maeve McKean
Maeve McKean. Credit: CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Her connection to the Kennedy family runs deep. Maeve’s mother is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. This means that Maeve is one of RFK’s many grandchildren. Maeve has four siblings, MeaghanKat and Kerry, and her father is David Lee Townsend.

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