A former White House chef who was working for the Obama family was found dead Monday in a pond on the south shore of Martha’s Vineyard.
According to Massachusetts police, Tafari Campbell, 45,
was employed by former President Obama and was visiting Martha’s Vineyard at the time of his passing.”
Campbell was reported missing early Sunday evening after going paddleboarding. A police news release said that he went
into the water, appeared to briefly struggle to stay on the surface, and then submerged and did not resurface.”
Massachusetts Environmental Police officers recovered Campbell’s body shortly before 10AM Monday from Edgartown Great Pond.
The Obamas in a statement,
Tafari was 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. 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.”
The Obamas were not at the residence at the time of the incident, according to police.
The State Police Detective Unit for the Cape and Islands District and Edgartown Police are investigating Campbell’s death.
Tafari Campbell, a chef at the Obama White House who stayed on with the family afterward, died while paddleboarding near the family’s home on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend, the police said. They said Barack and Michelle Obama were not home at the time. https://t.co/zD04EzlKvM— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 24, 2023
(Photo, The White House; via CNN)