Anne Arundel County

Authorities recover body of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s daughter

After searching for four days, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police have found the body of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s missing daughter.

Authorities found Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean’s body at 5:31 p.m. Monday, submerged 25 feet and about 2½ miles from her mother’s residence in Shady Side in Anne Arundel County. McKean’s 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, has not been found. Police said they will resume the search Tuesday.


McKean’s husband, David McKean, and her godfather Alan Fleischmann, both declined to comment Monday night when reached by phone. Townsend did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Maeve McKean, 40, and son were last seen Friday afternoon about 10 miles south of Annapolis near Herring Bay. Authorities said the pair’s canoe was found overturned at about 7 p.m. Friday, east of Rockhold Creek in Deale.


The two were playing kickball near a cove on Townsend’s property when one of them kicked the ball into the cove. While trying to retrieve it in a canoe, they “somehow got pushed by wind or tide into the open bay,” McKean’s husband wrote in Facebook post.

The search for Maeve and Gideon McKean involved aviation and underwater imaging sonar technology. Assisting agency Charles County Dive and Rescue found the body.

Maeve McKean was the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, the former U.S. attorney general and New York senator, and the grandniece of former president John F. Kennedy. Tragedy has famously followed the extended Kennedy family, with both Robert and John Kennedy having been assassinated, and multiple family members dying in other sudden accidents.

McKean worked as a public health and human rights lawyer and executive director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative, a university-wide research and service program.