Massachusetts (Reuters): A missing paddle boarder whose body was recovered from a lake in the Massachusetts resort community of Martha’s Vineyard was the personal chef to former President Barack Obama, authorities said.
Tafari Campbell, 45, was the subject of a two-day search after a paddle boarder was seen to struggle and go under the water in Edgartown Great Pond near a home owned by the Obamas on Sunday night.
He had been a sous chef at the White House, and came to work for the family after Obama completed his second term in 2016, the former President and his wife, Michelle Obama, said in a statement Monday.
“Tafari was 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 got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter.”
Divers began searching for Campbell on Sunday, after receiving a call that a male paddle boarder had gone into the water and then appeared to struggle before going under, police said. He did not resurface.
Campbell’s body was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond on Monday, the Massachusetts State Police said.
The chef leaves behind his wife, Sherise, and twin sons, the Obamas said.
At the time of his death, Campbell, who lived in Dumfries, Virginia, was visiting Martha’s Vineyard, but the Obamas were not present, the Massachusetts State Police said.
His death is being investigated by authorities, police said.