Authorities have recovered the body of Tafari Campbell, Barack Obama‘s personal chef, from a Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, pond.
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Police Believe Tafari Campbell Died In A Paddleboarding Mishap
AP News reports that Tafari, 45, was specifically found in the Edgartown Great Pond on Monday (Jul. 24).
Authorities believe that Campbell — a native of Dumfries, Virginia — got into a paddleboarding accident on Sunday (Jul. 23) while visiting the New England island. Notably, the Obamas were not at their nearby home at the time of the incident.
According to ABC 7 Chicago, Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers located Tafari’s body about 100 feet off the shoreline and approximately 8 feet underwater. Authorities also note that Tafari wasn’t wearing a lifejacket at the time.
He is survived by his wife — Sherise Campbell — and twin sons, Xavier and Savin.
The Obamas Call The Chef An “Extraordinarily Kind Person” & “Beloved Part” Of The Family
AP News reports that Barack and Michelle Obama acknowledged the tragedy in a statement, calling Tafari a “creative and passionate” person who “made [their] lives a little brighter.”
They also shared that, while their paths first crossed at the White House, the family asked Tafari Campbell to be their personal chef once the Obama Administration reached its end.
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“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. 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.”
The history-making couple added that Tafari was a “beloved part of [the Obama] family,” and their “hearts are broken that he’s gone.”
Additionally, Sherise Campbell uploaded a photo of her husband on Instagram and stated that the tragedy has “forever changed” her life.
“My heart is broken. My life and our family’s life is forever changed.”
The window concluded by writing, “Please pray for me and our families as I deal with the loss of my husband.”
We send our condolences to Tafari Campbell’s loved ones.