The Coast Guard has suspended its search for an 8-year-old boy and his 41-year-old mother last seen caoneing near Herring Bay, ten miles south of Annapolis on Thursday evening. Bay Bulletin has learned that mother and son are the daughter and grandson of former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department says a concerned citizen reported seeing two people in a small canoe or kayak drifting in the Chesapeake Bay around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. When fire crews arrived, they spotted the vessel still drifting south, and a multi-agency search was launched, including helicopter, boat and dive crews.
According to Anne Arundel Fire, the Coast Guard and the City of Annapolis fire boat recovered a kayak and a paddle east of Rockhold Creek in Deale around 7 p.m. Thursday. By 7:30 p.m., the search for the mother and son had to be called off for the night due to darkness.
The search resumed Friday morning, and continued into the day. In a Friday afternoon press conference, Governor Larry Hogan confirmed that the missing are Kennedy Townsend’s daughter, Maeve, and grandson Gideon.
A statement from the McKean/Townsend/Kennedy family, released by a family friend reads:
“At this time, our family asks for privacy and that everyone keep Maeve and Gideon in their prayers.”
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend served as Maryland Lieutenant Governor under Governor Parris Glendening, from 1995 to 2003.
Friday night the Coast Guard announced they had suspended the search after covering 3658 square miles over air, sea, and land over a period of 26 hours.
“This was a difficult case, and even more difficult to make the decision to suspend the search,” said Cmdr. Matthew Fine of Sector Maryland-National Capitol Region command center. “Our crews and partners did everything they could to find them. We’ve kept the family informed at every step during the search, and our thoughts are with them tonight.”