A personal chef to former US president Barack Obama, Mr. Tafari Campbell has died during an accident on a paddle boarding trip near the Obamas’ Massachusetts home.

The 45 year old chef who worked in the White House before staying on with the Obama family after Mr Obama left office in 2016, went missing in the waters of Edgartown Great Pond on Martha’s Vineyard, on Sunday.

The Obamas released a statement where they described Mr. Campbell as a beloved part of their family.
Mr Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama said when they first met the deceased, he was a talented sous chef at the White House – creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together,” adding that in the years that followed, they got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of their lives a little brighter.”

Mr Campbell had been visiting the Massachusetts island from his home in Virginia at the time of his death. Police say the Obama family was not home at the time of the accident.

Police report said the search was launched on Sunday night for “a male paddleboarder who had gone into the water, appeared to briefly struggle to stay on the surface, and then submerged and did not resurface”.
it added that “another paddleboarder was on the pond with him at the time and observed him go under the water,”

On Monday, his body was found “approximately 100 feet (30 meters) from shore at a depth of about eight feet”.

The Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit is investigating his death, but it is believed to have been an accident, CBS News reported.

Mr Campbell had worked in the White House during Mr Obama’s eight years in Washington, during which he helped create some of the most famous presidential recipes, including a beer brewed from ingredients grown at the White House.

The Obamas’ statement added that when it was time for the first family to depart Washington, they asked Mr Campbell to join them and he “generously agreed”, adding that he has been part of their lives ever since, and their hearts are broken that he’s gone.
Part of the statement read; 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.”
News Source – BBC

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