Autopsy reveals former White House chef drowned

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Autopsy Reveals Former White House Chef Drowned

New Mexico state police say a former White House chef who disappeared while hiking drowned.

Walter Scheib, 61, was found in the water along a trail in the mountains in the Taos area on Sunday after setting out on a solo hiking trip on June 13.

According to the autopsy report his death was ruled an accident, but according to a news release, the circumstances surrounding his death are still his unknown.

Scheib, who appeared on Food Network's "Iron Chef America" in 2006, served as a White House chef for 11 years under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He was responsible for cooking everything from First family meals to formal State Dinners.

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Walter Scheib, White House Chef found dead
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Autopsy reveals former White House chef drowned
Walter Scheib was the White House chef for 11 years under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He was in Eagle, Idaho, to prepare a meal with local chef Jon Mortimer at his Franco Latino restaurant. (Photo by Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/MCT via Getty Images)
Chef to the President of the United States, Walter Scheib (C) followed by the Italian, Domenico De Cesaris (R), and members of the club - Chefs to Heads of State, shows their identity cards to policeman on arrival at the Elycee Paris to meet Bernadette Chirac, wife of the President, 27 August 2003. Each year since the clubs inception in 1977, the chefs meet in a different country, this year around 30 have come to Paris to chat about their work. AFP PHOTO/MEHDI FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)
Picture taken 25 August 2003 at the Plaza Athenee in Paris shows chefs throwing their toques in the air during the annual meeting of the Club des Chefs des Chefs (C.C.C.-Club of Heads of State Chefs) presided by Walter Scheib, chef of US President George W. Bush. The C.C.C. created in 1977 gathers around thirty members from all around the world. AFP PHOTO JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES: Walter Scheib (first row, R), menu-master for the US president and current Club des Chefs des Chefs (CCC) chairman, poses with fellow chefs to world leaders, 26 July, 2004 during the Chefs' Summit at the Williard Hotel in Washington, DC. More than 20 members of the Club des Chefs des Chefs (CCC), the organization of culinary artists who cater to the world's heads of state, are meeting in Washington this week. The Club des Chefs des Chefs, which Scheib has convened in various countries since 1977 to share recipes and discuss the latest trends in international cuisine. AFP PHOTO/TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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He told the Times Leader last month that he thought of the White House as his personal home and working there gave him a new outlook on cooking.

"Our goal wasn't just to cook food at the White House, it was to give the First Family an island of normal in a very, very crazy world," he said.

The Clintons called Scheib's passing "tragic" in a statement on Monday, saying, "Our family was grateful to have Walter with us in the White House for six years, where we and visitors from around the world loved his delicious and creative meals. Walter used his immense talents not only to represent the very best of American cuisine to visiting leaders, but to make a difference in people's lives across the country through his support of numerous charities. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends."

Former first Lady Laura Bush also issued a statement, calling Scheib "an outstanding talent."

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