Former US President Obama’s family say they are saddened by the death of ‘warm, fun, incredibly kind’ chef Tafari Campbell.
The personal chef of former President Barack Obama of the United States was found dead in a lake near the home of the Obama family, in the resort community of Martha’s Vineyard.
Massachusetts State Police confirmed Monday that a paddle boarder found struggling in the Edgartown Great Pond is Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell.
Campbell, 45, worked at the White House before moving on to work for the Obama family after the 44th president left office in 2016.
“Tafari is a beloved part of our family,” the Obamas said in a joint statement. “He was … creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together. In the years that followed, we came to know him as a warm, fun, incredibly kind person who made everyone in our lives brighter.”
“So, when we were getting ready to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed. He has been a part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he is gone.”
Campbell leaves behind his wife, Sherise, and twin sons, the Obamas said.
Authorities began searching for a missing person Sunday after a report that a paddle boarder had gone underwater and never surfaced.
State police said they found Campbell, who was not wearing a life jacket, about 30 meters from shore and 2.4 meters underwater using sonar.
Campell, who lives in Dumfries, Virginia, was visiting Martha’s Vineyard, an affluent island community off the coast of Massachusetts, but the Obamas were not there at the time of the incident, police said.
Campbell’s death is under investigation by authorities, police said.