Obama’s Chef Found Dead In Pond Near Residence

EDGARTOWN, MA - AUGUST 06: Items featuring U.S. President Barack Obama's name are shown for sale at the Soft As A Grape store August 6, 2009 in Edgartown, Massachusetts on the island of Martha's Vineyard. President Barack Obama and his family will visit Martha's Vineyard and stay at the Blue Heron Farm off South Road in Chilmark while on vacation during the last week of August. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Items featuring U.S. President Barack Obama’s name are shown for sale at the Soft As A Grape store August 6, 2009 in Edgartown, Massachusetts. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

OAN’s Noah Herring
3:09 PM – Monday, July 24, 2023

The body of an Obama staffer who went missing while paddle boarding in a pond behind Barack Obama’s vineyard estate on Martha’s Vineyard was recently discovered. 


It was reported that Tari Campbell, 45, was out with another paddle boarder in Edgartown Great Pond, Massachusetts, before he eventually went missing on Sunday evening. Emergency crews were dispatched to Obama’s residence. 

Witnesses say that Campbell, Obama’s personal chef, went underwater but then briefly reappeared before sinking once more as he struggled to stay afloat at around 7:46 p.m.

A massive joint-agency search was scheduled for Sunday night in hopes of discovering the man’s body. He was last seen wearing all black attire without a life jacket.

Edgartown Police sent out a statement at around 10 p.m. on Sunday to alert locals.

“EPD is assisting multiple agencies searching for a missing adult male paddle boarder in Edgartown Great Pond,” the alert stated.

“Please remain away from this area and allow emergency responders to perform their search.”

The U.S. Coast Guard, Edgartown Fire, Air Wing, Dukes County Sheriff’s Department, and a few detectives were all apart of the search team working to find his missing body.

Professional divers later discovered the man’s remains in eight-foot-deep water around 100 feet away from shore at 10 a.m. on Monday. 

The incident’s location reported to dispatch was at the former president’s property on Martha’s Vineyard. However, Obama owns several homes, and was not currently residing at the estate at the time of the drowning.

“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. 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 Obamas said in a joint statement. 

“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. 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.”

This is a developing story.

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CORRECTION (July 24, 2023, 3:06 p.m. PT): Unnamed man in article was identified as Tafari Campbell, Obama’s personal Chef.

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