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Obama Family Employee Tafari Campbell Found Dead

Source: The White House / Tafari Campbell

A former White House line chef and employee of the Obama family was found dead on Monday, July 24, in a pond on the south shore of Martha’s Vineyard, law enforcement said.

According to a news release from the Massachusetts police, 45-year-old Tafari Campbell “was employed by former President Obama and was visiting Martha’s Vineyard at the time of his passing.”

Law enforcement states the former White House sous chef went missing while paddleboarding on Sunday, July 23.

Per CNN:

He went “into the water, appeared to briefly struggle to stay on the surface, and then submerged and did not resurface,” an earlier state police news release said. Another paddleboarder on the pond with him at the time witnessed him go under the water, according to the release.

Massachusetts Environmental Police officers recovered Campbell’s body shortly before 10 a.m. Monday from Edgartown Great Pond, a police news release said.

Police used a side-scan sonar from a boat to locate him, and divers from the department’s underwater recovery unit recovered his body, which was about 100 feet from the shore at a depth of about 8 feet.

The Obamas Remember Campbell In A Statement

The Obamas spoke about first meeting Campbell when he was an employee during the Obama administration and getting to know him in the eight years as sous chef and their employee in a statement sent to CNN.

“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” the Obamas said. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”

According to CNN, the Obamas were not at the residence when the incident happened, and State Police Detective Unit is currently investigating the Cape and Islands District and Edgartown Police.

Photo: The White House / Tafari Campbell