Authorities in Maryland have discovered the body of Maeve Kennedy McKean, granddaughter of Robert F Kennedy, who went missing alongside her eight-year-old son during a canoeing trip.

Police confirmed on Monday that Ms McKean’s body had been located 2.5 miles south of her mother’s home in Shady Side, Maryland, where the family had been self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak.

Charles County dive and rescue used aviation and underwater imaging sonar technology to locate Ms McKean’s body on the fifth day of searching.

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The 40-year-old had launched the canoe from the family residence on Thursday before reports suggest that the mother and son became stuck in the Chesapeake Bay area and capsized.

According to the Coast Guard, a passer-by reported at the time that “two individuals were seen struggling to return to shore in a canoe” near Herring Bay on Thursday afternoon.

An upturned canoe matching the description of the one Ms McKean and her son had used was later found.

The search for the body of 8 year-old Gideon McKean will continue on Tuesday.

David McKean paid tribute to his wife and son in a Facebook post on Friday, in which he said that it “is clear that Maeve and Gideon have passed away.”

Mr McKean paid tribute to his wife by saying: “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,”

He said of his son Gideon that “I used to marvel at him as a toddler and worry that he was too perfect to exist in this world. It seems to me now that he was.”

Kennedy Townsend, a former lieutenant governor of Maryland and niece of the late president John F Kennedy – also paid tribute to her grandson and daughter.

“My heart is crushed, yet we shall try to summon the grace of God and what strength we have to honor the hope, energy and passion that Maeve and Gideon set forth into the world.”, Ms Townsend said.

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