Former US president Barack Obama’s family chef Tafari Campbell dies in paddleboarding mishap

A former White House chef, who was working for the Obama family, was found dead in a pond on the south shore of Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island where the ex-US President has an estate, media reports said.

Former White House chef Tafari Campbell was found dead in a pond in Martha’s Vineyard region in the USA on Monday. Photo courtesy: @dom_lucre Twitter pager video grab

The deceased was identified as Tafari Campbell. He was 45.

"The paddle boarder who was recovered from Edgartown Great Road today is identified as Tafari Campbell, 45 (not43/44 as initially reported) of Dumfries, Virginia," read a statement issued by the Massachusetts State Police.

Police said former US President Barack Obama and his family members were not present in the residence when the incident occurred.

Police said the chef was reported missing early Sunday evening after going paddleboarding.

"Shortly before 10 AM the body of the missing paddle boarder was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond by Massachusetts State Police divers. MSP Underwater Recovery Unit divers made the recovery after the victim’s body was located by Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers deploying side-scan sonar from a boat," read the statement issued by the police.

Police said the recovery of the body was made approximately 100 feet from shore at a depth of about eight feet.

Former First Lady  Michelle Obama mourned his death and issued a statement as quoted by BBC: "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."