Former US President Barack Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell drowns near family’s home

 Former US President Barack Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell drowns near family’s home

Photo: / Getty Images

Tragic news struck the Obama family as Tafari Campbell, the former President’s personal chef, drowned in a heartbreaking incident near their home on Martha’s Vineyard. Massachusetts State Police confirmed the identity of the paddleboarder whose body was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond as Campbell.

The 45-year-old chef had been the focus of a two-day search after witnesses saw a paddleboarder struggling and disappearing under the water in Edgartown Great Pond, close to a property owned by the Obamas, on Sunday night. Campbell, who resided in Dumfries, Virginia, had been visiting Martha’s Vineyard at the time of the unfortunate incident. It’s worth noting that the Obamas were not present during this period, as stated by the Massachusetts State Police.

Chef Tafari Campbell
(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, file)

President Obama paid tribute to Tafari Campbell, acknowledging his significance as a beloved member of the family. This untimely loss has undoubtedly left a profound impact on those who knew and worked with him.

Campbell had been a sous chef at the White House, and came to work for the family after Obama completed his second term in 2016.

Issuing a joint statement, the former president and his wife, Michelle Obama, called Campbell a “beloved part of our family”.

“When we first met him, he was a talented sous chef at the White House – creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together,” the couple said. “In the years that followed, we got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter.” “That’s why, when we were getting ready to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed. He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone.”

The search for the missing paddleboarder started Sunday after reports from a fellow paddleboarder that he had struggled on the surface, went under and didn’t resurface.

The search was paused late Sunday but on Monday state police said sonar from a boat located the body about 100 feet (30 metres) from shore at a depth of about 8 feet (2.4 metres). Campbell was not wearing a life jacket, police said.

The Obamas said Campbell is survived by his wife and their twin boys.

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