Obama staffer with personal chef as he drowned identified as Ms. Taylor, 26

 December 16, 2023

Newly released Secret Service records revealed the identity of the person with Obama family personal chef Tafari Campbell when he apparently drowned while paddleboarding in Martha's Vineyard: Ms. Taylor, age 26.

Campbell, 45, was visiting the Obama compound and fell off his paddleboard in Edgartown Great Pond on July 23 just before sunset.

Taylor told Secret Service agents Campbell splashed briefly, tried to grab a paddleboard she held out to him, then went under the surface and didn't come back up.

She paddled to the edge of the pond and ran barefoot through a wooded area to get help, but agents had trouble with the first two motorboats they tried to use to get on the pond.

The fruitless search

Finally, the caretaker's motorboat worked, but the agents could not find Campbell in the murky water and growing darkness.

They found his hat and paddle in the water and the paddleboard washed up on shore.

After 10 to 20 minutes of searching, the agents and Taylor were told to report to Wilson's Landing where an incident command post had been set up.

Former President Barack Obama was there and asked Taylor questions about the incident.

Searchers tried to ping Campbell's Apple Watch, and four divers searched the waters until 11:30 p.m. without success.

Death ruled accidental, but questions remain

When he was found dead the next morning, Campbell was wearing black shorts and a black shirt, making it even harder to locate him in the dark.

His death was ruled accidental, but authorities are still wondering how a good swimmer drowned in eight-foot deep water in the pond.

Other questions involve what Campbell was doing paddleboarding alone with a woman not his wife, but the report did not answer those questions either.

Campbell was originally a chef to former President George W. Bush, then stayed on to work in the White House during Obama's tenure.

He left White House service in 2017 to work for the Obamas after Barack left office.

Taylor was a relatively new staffer when the drowning occurred and not much is known about her other than her last name at this time.

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