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Tags: obamas | marthas vineyard | tafari campbell | drowning

Obamas' Chef Drowns Near Their Martha's Vineyard Estate

By    |   Monday, 24 July 2023 06:51 PM EDT

The body of a former White House sous chef who worked for former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama was found dead in a pond behind their Martha’s Vineyard estate.

Massachusetts State Police identified the body as Tafari Campbell, 45, of Dumfries, Virginia. Campbell was paddleboarding on Edgartown Great Pond on Sunday when he went missing, police said. A 911 call for the incident came from the Obamas' home, the Daily Mail reported. Police said the former president and first lady were not at home at the time of the incident.

Campbell had been employed by the Obamas since they left the White House in 2017.

“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” the Obamas said in a news release, according to the Chicago Sun Times. “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. 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.

"Today we join everyone who knew and loved Tafari — especially his wife Sherise and their twin boys, Xavier and Savin — in grieving the loss of a truly wonderful man.”

Divers from Massachusetts State Police recovered Campbell’s body. The Martha’s Vineyard Times reported Campbell was last seen wearing all black without a life preserver. His paddleboard and hat were recovered Sunday night.

According to a state police news release, the body was located shortly before 10 a.m. Monday by Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers using side-scan sonar from a boat in 8 feet of water and 100 feet from the shore.

The search for the body took place just yards from the Obamas’ estate, a seven-bedroom, 6,982-square-foot mansion they purchased in 2019 for $11.75 million.

State police said at 7:46 p.m. Sunday: “Martha's Vineyard police and fire agencies responded to Great Pond in the vicinity of Turkeyland Cove for a call for a male paddle boarder who had gone into the water, appeared to briefly struggle to stay on the surface, and then submerged and did not resurface.

“Another paddleboarder was on the pond with him at the time and observed him go under the water.”

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The body of a former White House sous chef who worked for former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama was found dead in a pond behind their Martha's Vineyard estate.
obamas, marthas vineyard, tafari campbell, drowning
417
2023-51-24
Monday, 24 July 2023 06:51 PM
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