Maeve Kennedy's Cause of Death Revealed After Canoeing Accident

The cause of death for Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean has been revealed after a canoeing accident.

By Mike Vulpo Apr 08, 2020 6:44 PMTags
Watch: Kennedy Family Members Missing After Canoeing Accident

New details are being revealed in regards to the canoeing accident involving Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter and her 8-year-old son.

Just days after Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean's body was recovered, the chief medical examiner confirms to E! News that her cause of death is drowning, and the manner is an accident.

Later in the afternoon, Maryland Natural Resource Police also confirmed they had located the body of Maeve's son Gideon. The morning-son duo was reported missing last Thursday after a canoeing accident in Chesapeake Bay.

"On behalf our family, I want to share our heartfelt gratitude to Governor Hogan, Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, and the team of more than 50 professionals from the Department of Natural Resources, Anne Arundel, Charles County, and the State Police, who spent these last days searching for our fierce and loving Maeve and Gideon," former Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said in a statement to E! News. "They have helped us bring some closure to this terrible loss, and our family will always be grateful for their tireless work."

In a previous interview with the Washington Post, Maeve's husband David McKean said children were kicking a ball back and forth in a yard before the ball went into the water. He said his wife and son "popped into a canoe to chase it down. They just got farther out than they could handle and couldn't get back in."

Maryland Natural Resource Police believe the two individuals onboard the canoe "appeared to be overtaken by the strong winds." In a powerful Facebook post, Maeve's husband remembered his wife and son for their unforgettable qualities.

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"Maeve turned 40 in November, and she was my everything. She was my best friend and my soulmate. I have already thought many times over today that I need to remember to tell Maeve about something that's happening. I am terrified by the idea that this will fade over time," he wrote. "You could hear Maeve's laugh a block away—and she laughed a lot. She was magical—with endless energy that she would put toward inventing games for our children, taking on another project at work or in our community, and spending time with our friends."

Mike Pont/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

David continued, "Gideon was 8, but he may as well have been 38. He was deeply compassionate, declining to sing children's songs if they contained a hint of animals or people being treated cruelly…He spent hours upstairs reading, learning everything he could about sports, and trying to decipher the mysteries of the stock market. But he was also incredibly social, athletic, and courageous."

The tributes would also pour in from many family members on social media including a statement from Maeve's mother.

"With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery," Kathleen wrote in part. "When my uncle Ted eulogized my father, he offered a prayer that what my father was to his family, and what he wished for others, would someday come to pass for all the world. This is our prayer for Maeve and Gideon."

She added, "My heart is 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 [including Maeve's father David Lee Townsend] thanks all for the outpouring of love and prayers as we grieve and try to bear this devastating loss."

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