Around 4 p.m., children kicked a ball back and forth in a garden and the ball went into the water, said McKean’s husband David McKean.
He said his wife and son “got into a canoe to hunt”.
“They only got further out than they could handle and couldn’t get back in,” he said in a short interview with the Washington Post.
He said the family had been in the Shady Side home of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former Maryland vice governor.
At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Governor Larry Hogan (R) said he had reached Kennedy Townsend and “expressed our deepest sympathy and prayers to her and her entire family during this difficult time.”
Maeve McKean is the managing director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative. She is a granddaughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the great niece of former President John F. Kennedy.
Captain Erik Kornmeyer, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said in a statement that an affected person called the authorities around 4:30 p.m. Thursday to say he saw the canoe from Columbia Beach Pier.
According to the Coast Guard, the caller said the boaters had “had difficulty returning ashore by canoe” near Herring Bay and then no longer seen.
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said the wind in this part of the bay was Thursday afternoon at 26 knots – about 30 miles an hour – with waves two to three feet high.
Boat and helicopter crews searched until dark Thursday and resumed on Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, the coast guard announced that 2,275 square miles had been covered.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police said on Friday that an overturned canoe that matched the description of the missing canoe was recovered.
“At this point, our family is asking for privacy and that everyone keep Maeve and Gideon in their prayers,” family spokesman Alan Fleischmann said in a statement. Maeve is Fleischmann’s goddaughter.
McKean is President of the Parent Teacher Association at Capitol Hill Cluster School. Headmasters Elena Bell and Kristofer Comeforo sent a letter to the families saying they were “deeply saddened by the news.”
A virtual school auction planned for Friday evening has been postponed.
“There will be virtual opportunities for the school community to get support from clinical social workers, counselors and school psychologists early next week,” the headmaster’s letter said.
McKean graduated from Boston College and Georgetown University with a joint degree in law and international conflict resolution. She served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique and came home to help with her mother’s campaign for the governor in 2002.
She worked for the Democratic US Senator Dianne Feinstein in California, where she met her future husband. Gideon is her first child; The pair of human rights lawyers named him after a Supreme Court case instructing states to pay defenders for the poor. During the Obama administration, McKean worked in the State Department’s Global AIDS Program and the Department of Health and Human Services for Human Rights.
Last year, she and her mother spoke out against her uncle Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s stance on vaccines.
Last month, she was one of hundreds of public health experts and experts who signed a letter asking Vice President Pence to follow scientific advice and provide adequate resources to respond to covid-19.
The Kennedy family was hit by a tragedy, including the murder of McKean’s grandfather and grand uncle in the 1960s and the death of their cousin Saoirse Kennedy Hill last year. While they are also widely regarded as blessed with luck, McKean said to Glamor in 2008 that this was a misunderstanding.
“People think because I’m a Kennedy I’m extremely rich and I don’t show it off. Ha!” She said. “I have a great name, but the money is used up by the fourth generation. We’re lucky compared to an average American, but to think I’m a trustee – so not true!”
She said it was still a challenge to figure out how to pay her law school bills while embarking on a civil service career.
In an interview with a Spanish television station last year, she explained why she chose to focus part of her career on women’s health. While women are “half the world”, investments in medical research often favor men.
“I think there is … an incredible opportunity to make a real difference,” she said. “If you improve the health of women and their children, you improve the health of [their] Communities. “
The Maryland Natural Resources Police directed the search with the help of the Coast Guard, the Queen Anne Police Department, the Anne Arundel Police Department and the Maryland State Police.
Magda Jean-Louis, Clarence Williams, Ovetta Wiggins, Spencer S. Hsu, Erin Cox, Annie Linskey and Eddy Palanzo contributed to this report.