An autopsy of the former White House chef for the Obamas who died last month after falling off a paddleboard while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard determined that his cause of death was accidental drowning, CBS News reported.
The body of Tafari Campbell, 45, was found on Monday, July 24, one day after he fell off a paddleboard on Edgartown Great Pond and was seen struggling in the water before submerging and not resurfacing.
According to Timothy McGuirk, the spokesman for the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Security, Campbell’s cause of death was accidental drowning from submersion in water.
Campbell, who lived in Dumfries, Virginia, was vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard at the time of the incident.
According to authorities, Campbell was paddleboarding on the Edgartown Great Pond on Sunday, July 23, when emergency services received a 911 call that a man had gone into the water. Another paddleboarder with Campbell at the time saw him struggle briefly before going under.
Rescue workers from local fire units, as well as members of the Coast Guard and Massachusetts State Police, searched the lake for several hours that night but could not find the body. The following day, Campbell was found by officers from the Massachusetts Environmental Police about 100 feet from shore in 8-foot deep water.
Campbell formerly worked as the sous chef in the White House during the Obama presidency. However, the Obamas were not at their nearby Martha’s Vineyard estate at the time of the incident.
The former president and first lady released a joint statement last month describing Campbell as a part of their family. The Obamas remembered Campbell as an “extraordinarily kind” man who was “warm” and “fun.”
According to the Obamas, Campbell is survived by his wife and their twin sons.