Former President Barack Obama's personal chef has drowned near the family's home on Martha's Vineyard. (File image: AP

Former US President Barack Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell drowns near family’s home on Martha’s Vineyard

Former President Obama’s personal chef, Tafari Campbell, drowned near the family’s home on Martha’s Vineyard. Obama’s paid tribute to Campbell and called him beloved part of the family.

Former President Barack Obama’s personal chef has drowned near the family’s home on Martha’s Vineyard. (File image: AP

Former President Barack Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell drowned near the family’s home on Martha’s Vineyard. Massachusetts State Police confirmed that the paddleboarder whose body was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond on Monday was of Campbell.

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. 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.

Campbell had been a sous chef at the White House, and came to work for the family after Obama completed his second term in 2016.

Issuing a joint statement, the former president and his wife, Michelle Obama, called Campbell 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.”

The search for the missing paddleboarder started Sunday after reports from a fellow paddleboarder that he had struggled on the surface, went under and didn’t resurface.

The search was paused late Sunday but on Monday state police said sonar from a boat located the body about 100 feet (30 metres) from shore at a depth of about 8 feet (2.4 metres). Campbell was not wearing a life jacket, police said.

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