The widow of a former personal chef to Barack and Michelle Obama has broken her silence after police provided an update Tuesday regarding his drowning.

Sherise Campbell, the widow of Obama chef Tafari Campbell, asked for prayers as she grieves her loss, The Western Journal reported.

“My heart is broken. My life and our family’s life is forever changed. Please pray for me and our families as I deal with the loss of my husband.. @chefafari,” she said on Instagram. “No words can express what I am feeling,” she added in a separate post.

On Tuesday, Tafari’s body was pulled from the water near the Martha’s Vineyard Estate of the former president and first lady.

The gruesome discovery was made after Tafari, 43, went missing while with another paddleboarder on Edgartown Great Pond, Massachusetts.

The emergency call is believed to have come from inside the Obama Estate, which is where police were dispatched to, The Daily Mail reported.

Witnesses told police the man went underwater and then briefly reappeared as he struggled to stay afloat before submerging again around 7:46 p.m.

A massive joint-agency search resumed Monday morning for Tafair who was last seen wearing all black without a lifejacket, MV Times reported.

His paddle board and hat were recovered Sunday – and his body was found in the eight-foot-deep waters approximately 100 feet away from shore at 10 a.m. Monday.

The dispatch address for the incident came from the Obamas’ waterfront home. The former first couple was not home at the time of the drowning.

“Shortly before 10 AM the body of the missing paddle boarder was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond by Massachusetts State Police divers,” Massachusetts State Police said

“MSP Underwater Recovery Unit divers made the recovery after the victim’s body was located by a Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers deploying side-scan sonar from a boat.

“The recovery was made approximately 100 feet from shore at a depth of about eight feet.

“The investigation into the fatality is being conducted by the State Police Detective Unit for the Cape and Islands District and Edgartown Police,” it said.

Massachusetts State Police have provided an update on the drowning on Wednesday, reports noted.

Police said that Campbell was paddleboarding near the Obamas’ home in Martha’s Vineyard and was not wearing a life jacket. They added that no foul play is suspected in the incident.


According to a paddleboarder who was with Campbell, he was seen standing on his paddleboard when he lost his balance and fell into the water. The paddleboarder recalled that Campbell struggled to stay afloat but eventually submerged.

The fellow paddleboarder informed investigators that they made an effort to swim to Campbell’s location but were unable to reach him in time, Fox News noted.

They eventually swam back to shore and sought assistance from someone to call 911. Upon receiving the distress call, the Dukes County Regional Emergency Communications Center promptly launched an emergency search and rescue operation involving multiple public safety agencies, the network noted further.

“The on-scene observation of the victim by state police personnel and the post-mortem examination by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed no external trauma or injuries,” Fox noted.

In a statement, the former president and his wife 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.”

Prior to Campbell’s tragic incident, another former White House chef faced a similar fate. In June 2015, Walter Scheib, who had been an executive chef at the White House, serving former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, drowned while hiking a trail in Taos, New Mexico, Fox News reported.

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