Gideon and his mother climbed into a canoe for what they thought would be a short trip to retrieve the ball, but strong currents and gusty winds pushed them out into the bay.
They were not wearing life jackets, expecting to be in the canoe for only a minute or two, a family friend told The Washington Post. But winds of 30 mph and a strong undertow pulled the canoe away from shore.
A search was launched, but by Friday the effort had turned from a rescue to a recovery mission, involving aviation and underwater imaging technology. McKean was found Monday about 2.5 miles south of Townsend’s home. She is the daughter of Townsend and David Lee Townsend and the granddaughter of former senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Gideon was found about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday by the Maryland Natural Resources Police Underwater Team, according to a tweet from Mike Ricci, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The child was found about 2,000 feet from where his mother had been located.
“Please continue to keep their family in your prayers as they mourn this devastating loss,” Hogan tweeted.
Gideon attended Watkins Elementary School in the District. His mother was the executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative.
They are survived by David McKean, 7-year-old Gabriella and 2-year-old Toby.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Kennedy Townsend thanked officials for their efforts.
“They have helped us bring some closure to this terrible loss,” Kennedy Townsend said, “and our family will always be grateful for their tireless work.”