The body of missing former WWE star Shad Gaspard has washed up on Venice Beach, three days after being swept out to sea during a swim.
Patrol officers were called around 1:25 a.m. by a person reporting that a body had washed ashore, a Los Angeles Police Department statement said.
“The decedent was identified as Shad Gaspard and next of kin was notified,” it said.
#PierIC at 2:19AM @lacolifeguards @LACOFD @LAPDHQ respond to #VenicePier to a report of a body along the shoreline that matches the description of Sunday’s missing swimmer. Crews on-scene extricate from the water and transfer to @lacountymec pic.twitter.com/b5xYmCOBkj
— LACoFD Lifeguards (@LACoLifeguards) May 20, 2020
The American wrestler, 39, had been declared missing since Sunday afternoon after he was swept out to sea by a riptide while swimming with a group of swimmers including his 10-year-old son, Aryeh.
Lifeguards who raced into the water to rescue the swimmers were able to rescue Gaspard’s son.
An official working with the L.A. Fire Department said that they believe the 39-year-old “did submerge.”
One witness at the scene said when lifeguards raced into the ocean, Gaspard directed rescuers to help his son first, which they did.
During the rescue, another big wave reportedly crashed down on Gaspard and that was the last time he was seen.
Police and Coast Guard boats and divers reportedly searched the rough water for nearly two days before suspending their efforts.
On Tuesday, his wife Siliana issued a statement thanking authorities for their efforts.
‘We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad,’ the statement said.
The statement held out hope for the Wrestler’s safe return: ‘Shad is a fighter, a warrior and a magical soul. We are hoping and praying for his safe return. As a family, we thank you all for your concern and well wishes. Please continue to keep sending your positivity and prayers to our beloved Shad.’
Shad Gaspard gained prominence in the WWE as one half of the tag-team group Cryme Time, along with his partner, JTG before retiring from the WWE in 2010.
Since his retirement, he has had small roles in TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard.”