Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, expressed condolences over the death of their personal chef, Tafari Campbell, whose body was found Monday in a coastal pond on the southern shore of Martha’s Vineyard near the Obamas’ estate. “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,” the Obamas said in a joint statement, according to WCVB-TV in Boston. “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 couple said. “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,” they said. “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.” Police found Campbell’s body Monday after conducting a search following a 911 call Sunday from the Obama estate on Martha’s Vineyard, the wealthy enclave south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Witnesses last saw the 43-year-old struggling to stay afloat while paddleboarding on Edgartown Great Pond. Located on the island’s southern shore, Edgartown Great Pond is an 890-acre coastal pond of brackish water — a mix of salt and fresh water — separated by a thin “barrier beach” from the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Great Pond Foundation. The pond has an average depth of 3.0-4.3 feet, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Campbell had gone out to the site that day with another paddleboarder, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported. Search and rescue personnel first discovered Campbell’s hat and paddleboard Sunday. They later found his body in waters 8 feet deep and about 100 feet from the shore, according to a statement from the Massachusetts State Police. The department said in a statement that Campbell “had gone into the water, appeared to briefly struggle to stay on the surface, and then submerged and did not resurface,” according to Newsweek. “The investigation into the fatality is being conducted by the State Police Detective Unit for the Cape and Islands District and Edgartown Police,” police said. “My heart is broken,” Campbell’s wife, Sherise, wrote on Instagram.
“Please pray for me and our families as I deal with the loss of my husband,” she said. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.View this post on Instagram