The daughter and a grandson of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest daughter of Robert F Kennedy, are believe to have died after a canoe they were using in the Chesapeake Bay did not return to shore.
The missing relatives were identified as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and McKean’s eight-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean.
In a statement Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said: “With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery.”
Ms Kennedy Townsend, who served two terms as Maryland’s lieutenant governor, is the eldest daughter of Robert F Kennedy, former attorney general of the US, who was assassinated in 1968.
The search began on Thursday after the state Natural Resources Police responded to a report of two people on a canoe in the Chesapeake Bay who appeared to be in trouble after being hit by strong winds.
A statement from the agency said they may have been paddling the canoe from a home in Shady Side, Maryland, to retrieve a ball and could not paddle back to shore.
An overturned canoe matching the one used by the missing people was found on Thursday night, the agency said.