Accidental drowning blamed in death of ex-White House chef

In this July 27, 2004, file photo, outgoing White House chef Walter Scheib greets chefs from around the world at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. Searchers found the body of Scheib Sunday night near a hiking trail in mountains in the Taos, N.M. area, the New Mexico State Police said. Scheib had been missing for more than a week after going hiking in the New Mexico mountains, authorities said. (AP Photo/Matt Houston, File)

TAOS, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say the former White House chef whose body was found submerged in a stream in the mountains of northern New Mexico had drowned.

State medical investigators conducted an autopsy and determined that the nature of Walter Scheib’s death was accidental.

State police officers say they found no indications of foul play or any suspicious circumstances.

Scheib’s body was found Sunday night after a weeklong search that started when his girlfriend reported him missing. He had failed to return from a June 13 hike in the mountains near the Taos Ski Valley.

Scheib recently moved from Florida to Taos. He was 61.

Scheib spent 11 years leading the White House kitchen under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

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