The personal chef of former president Barack Obama was tragically found dead in a “paddleboarding incident” near the family’s $12 million mansion on Martha’s Vineyard. This location, being at sea level, is an interesting point for those who strongly believe in the melting iceberg theory.
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The Massachusetts State Police have confirmed that the paddleboarder whose body was discovered in Edgartown Great Pond on Monday was Tafari Campbell, 45, from Dumfries, Virginia.
As reported by the AP, Campbell was employed by the Obamas and was visiting Martha’s Vineyard at the time of the accident. Notably, the Obamas were not present at the residence when the incident occurred. In a heartfelt statement, the former president and his wife, Michelle Obama, expressed that Campbell was a “beloved part of our family.”
“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,” the couple said. “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.”
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Throughout Obama’s eight years in Washington, Campbell had been employed in the White House, where he made valuable contributions to the creation of some of the most renowned presidential recipes, one of which was a beer brewed using ingredients grown on the White House grounds.
Tragically, on Sunday, Campbell disappeared in the waters of Edgartown Great Pond on Martha’s Vineyard. Notably, when the first family was preparing to leave Washington, they extended an invitation to Mr. Campbell to join them, and he graciously accepted, as stated in the Obamas’ official statement.
“He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone. 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.”
On Sunday night, a search was initiated for a male paddleboarder who had entered the water, seemingly struggling momentarily to remain afloat before submerging and failing to resurface, according to a police report.
At the time of the incident, another paddleboarder was present on the pond and witnessed the unfortunate event unfold. However, it remains unclear why this individual did not intervene to rescue the chef employed by the Obamas.
On Monday, the body of the chef, Tafari Campbell, was discovered roughly 100 feet (30 meters) from the shore, in approximately eight feet of water.
The circumstances surrounding the drowning of the healthy 45-year-old male, who was reportedly a proficient swimmer, in a mere 8-foot-deep pond raise questions.
While the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit is conducting an investigation into Campbell’s death, CBS News reported that it is believed to have been an accident.
In the wake of this tragedy, the Obamas expressed their condolences, stating that Campbell is survived by his wife and their twin boys.