Maeve Kennedy Townsend

Kennedy Great-Grandson Gideon McKean's Cause of Death Revealed

Gideon McKean and his mom, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, went missing in the Chesapeake Bay on April 2

In this Dec. 12, 2019, file photo, David McKean, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean and family attend the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala Auction in New York City.
Mike Pont/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Authorities can now confirm Gideon McKean died by drowning.

On Monday, April 13, a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health told E! News: "The cause of death is drowning complicated by hypothermia, and the manner is an accident."

A coroner was able to perform an autopsy on the body after it was recovered on April 8, nearly a week after the 8-year-old and his mother Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean went missing. According to authorities, his remains were 2,000 feet away from where his mother's body was found. She also died by accidental drowning.

The mother and son went missing on April 2 after they jumped in a canoe to go after their ball, which had flown into the Chesapeake Bay. "About 30 minutes later they were spotted by an onlooker from land, who saw them far out from shore, and called the police. After that last sighting, they were not seen again," her husband David McKean previously shared.

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Not long after the recovery of the remains, the Kennedy family hosted a virtual memorial service, opting to do so out of precaution amid the coronavirus. In a statement, Alan Fleischmann, the former chief of staff for Maeve's mother, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, revealed "thousands" of people tuned into the services to remember the two individuals.

"The family came together along with friends -- of all ages -- and from across the globe. The service and the number of attendees is a testimony of the enduring love and loss that is Maeve and Gideon. The service captured their enduring vitality and vividness," he said.

Maeve's husband penned an emotional Facebook post about his wife and son in which he named the things he will miss most about them.

"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," McKean wrote in the lengthy post. "I am terrified by the idea that this will fade over time. 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."

As for Gideon, he called the 8-year-old a "deeply compassionate" and "brave" little boy.

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