Body found on LA beach identified as WWE pro Shad Gaspard
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The body of former World Wrestling Entertainment pro Shad Gaspard was found early Wednesday on Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, where he was caught in a rip current last weekend, police said.
Patrol officers were flagged down around 1:25 a.m. by a person reporting that a body had washed ashore, a Police Department statement said.
“The decedent was identified as Shad Gaspard and next of kin was notified,” it said.
Gaspard went missing last Sunday after he went swimming with his 10-year-old son, Aryeh.
The boy was rescued and several other swimmers made it out of the water safely.
Gaspard, 39, was about 50 yards (46 meters) from shore when he was last spotted by a lifeguard, police said. A wave crashed over him and he was swept out to sea.
His wife, Siliana Gaspard, issued a statement Tuesday thanking authorities and fans.
“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 had held out hope: “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 the 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.”