On Monday, news broke of a drowning off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. According to initial reports, the victim was paddle-boarding near former President Barack Obama’s property when he drowned on Sunday evening.
The body of a 43-year-old black man was found by a joint agency team shortly before 10 am on Monday. A call from President Barack Obama’s estate at 79 Turkeyland Cove Road, received at 7:46 pm Sunday, prompted the search.
EPD is assisting multiple agencies searching for a missing adult male paddle boarder in Edgartown Great Pond. Please remain away from this area and allow emergency responders to perform their search.
— Edgartown Police (@edgartownpolice) July 24, 2023
The victim has now been identified as Obama’s personal chef, 45-year-old Tafari Campbell.
Campbell from Dumfries, Virginia, 45 years old, was discovered on Monday morning. He had disappeared the day before into the waters at Edgartown Great Pond in Martha’s Vineyard.
Massachusetts State Police confirms that Campbell was working for former President Obama and that he was on Martha’s Vineyard at the time he died. According to MSP, Barack and Michelle Obama were not at home when the accident happened.
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) July 24, 2023
The Obamas issued the following statement in response to the recent news
Tafari was a member of our family. He first came to us as a talented White House chef, passionate about food and how it can bring people together. Over the years we got to know Tafari as a fun and warm person who was incredibly kind.
We asked Tafari to stay with us as we left the White House. Tafari graciously accepted. He has been a big part of our life ever since.