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Obamas' chef found dead in Martha's Vineyard lake after going missing

The former president and his family have a home on Martha's Vineyard, but were not at the residence at the time of Tafari Campbell's death.
Obamas' chef found dead in Martha's Vineyard lake after going missing
Posted at 6:34 PM, Jul 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-24 20:34:28-04

After news of a missing paddleboarder on Martha's Vineyard surfaced on Monday, a body was found and identified as the chef for former President Barack Obama and his family. 

In a statement to Scripps News, Massachusetts police said the body was recovered from Edgartown Great Road and was identified as 45-year-old Tafari Campbell of Dumfries, Virginia. 

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Campbell was an employee of the Obamas and had been visiting Martha's Vineyard when he died. The Obamas were not at their home at the time. 

The Obamas released a statement saying, "Tafari 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. 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."

The statement continued, "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. 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."

CBS Boston reported that Campbell was seen struggling while in Edgartown Great Pond on Sunday night. 

Divers along with flight and boat crews responded to the scene to join in search and recovery efforts. Campbell's body was recovered on Monday morning from the lake about 100 feet from the shore, at a depth of around eight feet, reports said. 


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