The body of a former WWE wrestler who went missing while swimming with his son has been found on a beach in California.
Shad Gaspard was caught in a rip tide in Venice, Los Angeles, on Sunday afternoon.
Aryeh, Gaspard’s 10-year-old son, was rescued and several other swimmers made it out of the water safely after they were caught in the strong currents.
Los Angeles firefighters said police called them to a beach in Venice early on Wednesday after a dead body was found.
Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division tweeted that the body “matches the description of Sunday’s missing swimmer”.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) later tweeted that it was saddened to learn that its former “superstar has passed away at the age of 39”.
Police said Gaspard was about 150ft (46m) from the shore when he was last seen.
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#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 @lacountymecpic.twitter.com/b5xYmCOBkj
— LACoFD Lifeguards (@LACoLifeguards) May 20, 2020
Los Angeles police said in a statement on Monday: “When last seen by the lifeguard, a wave had crashed over Mr Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea.”
Siliana Gaspard, the former wrestler’s wife, issued a statement on Tuesday thanking authorities and fans.
She said: “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.”
WWE is saddened to learn that former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39. https://t.co/ngyuRpkjps
— WWE (@WWE) May 20, 2020
The statement added: “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.”
Gaspard gained prominence in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as one half of the tag-team group Cryme Time, along with his partner, JTG.
After retiring from the WWE in 2010, Gaspard has had small roles on TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard.