September 26, 2023

Massachusetts police stated Monday that the Obama household’s private chef died over the weekend after he was seen wrestling within the water whereas kayaking outdoors the previous first household’s Martha’s Winery dwelling.

The physique of chef Tafari Campbell, 45, of Dumfries, Virginia, was discovered simply earlier than 10 am Monday about 100 ft from shore at Edgartown Nice Pond in about eight ft of water by Massachusetts Environmental Police, who deployed sonar from a ship throughout an hour-long search that started Sunday night with a number of legislation enforcement companies.

State police stated former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama weren’t at dwelling on the time. The state police and the Edgartown Police Division are investigating the dying of Mr. Campbell, who labored as a sous chef when the Obamas have been within the White Home and stayed with them thereafter.

Shortly earlier than 8:00 p.m. Sunday, emergency companies from Edgartown arrived at Edgartown’s Grand Pond close to Turkeyland Bay, the place Mr. Obama has a summer time dwelling, when a name got here from “a male kayaker who entered the water appeared to briefly battle to remain on the floor, then submerged and didn’t resurface,” the state police stated in a press release.

In accordance with police, one other rower was with him on the pond on the time and noticed him go below the water. The search was assisted by the state police, the US Coast Guard and a number of other native fireplace departments, together with divers.

After a number of hours of looking on Sunday night, “the operation has been placed on maintain to permit diving groups, aircrew and different rescuers to re-equip and assess subsequent steps,” the state police stated.

Edgartown Fireplace Chief Alex Schaeffer informed The Winery Gazette that after Mr. Campbell went lacking, after Mr. Campbell went lacking, after Mr. Campbell went lacking, island police and firefighters performed searches on the island, and that firefighters searched the pond’s shoreline on foot.

Of their assertion, Mr. and Mrs. Obama known as Mr. Campbell “a really fantastic individual” and “a beloved a part of our household.”

“Once we first met him, he was a proficient sous chef on the White Home – artistic and obsessed with meals and its capacity to convey folks collectively,” they stated. “In later years, we acquired to know him as a heat, cheerful, unusually type one who made our entire life a little bit brighter.”

The Obamas stated they requested Mr. Campbell to stick with them as they ready to depart the White Home.

“Since then, it has grow to be part of our lives,” they stated. “Our hearts are damaged that he’s gone.”

In accordance with their assertion, Mr. Campbell’s survivors embrace his spouse Cherise and twin boys, Xavier and Savin.

The Obamas, longtime summer time company of Martha’s Winery, bought a secluded 30-acre property on the South Shore in 2019 for $11.75 million. Their 6,900-square-foot, seven-bedroom dwelling overlooks the Edgartown Large Pond, overlooking the barrier seashore and the ocean. The nonetheless, brackish coastal pond has a number of bays which can be well-liked with boat fanatics, particularly kayakers and paddlers hoping to catch a spectacular sundown.

The Nationwide Climate Service reported good and clear situations on Sunday night with excessive temperatures round 70 levels.

Mr. Obama has been visiting the Winery since he was a senator from Illinois and spent a part of August on the island throughout seven of his eight years in workplace, skipping 2012 throughout his re-election marketing campaign.

This isn’t the primary time a former US president’s chef has died all of the sudden. Walter Scheib, a former chef below the administrations of Presidents Invoice Clinton and George W. Bush, by chance drowned in 2015 after a visit to Toas, New Mexico.

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