Shad Gaspard Found Dead Days After WWE Star Was Swept Away by Waves
WWE star Shad Gaspard has been found dead three days after he went missing over the weekend while at Venice Beach with his son, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirmed to PEOPLE.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division tweeted early Wednesday, "@lacolifeguards @LACOFD @LAPDHQ respond to #VenicePier to a report of a body along the shoreline that matches the description of Sunday’s missing swimmer."
The body was transferred to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, who told PEOPLE they identified the deceased as Gaspard.
On Monday, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Margaret Stewart said in an online statement that they responded to a medical request at 3:56 p.m. local time on Sunday near 4200 S. Ocean Front Walk for two reported missing swimmers, a 39-year-old man and his son, a 10-year-old boy.
The boy was eventually located by rescuers and did not require hospital transport. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division is currently leading the continued search for the adult male, Stewart's statement read.
TMZ first reported that the WWE star was the missing man on Monday, saying Gaspard — a member of tag team Cryme Tyme — was enjoying a beach day and swimming with his son when they were both caught under a strong ocean current.
A witness at the scene told TMZ that before his disappearance, Gaspard directed rescuers to first help his son. The father was then submerged by a wave that crashed down on him and has not been seen since.
Emergency responders had to suspend their search for Gaspard earlier in the week due to rough conditions.
In a statement provided to PEOPLE before the athlete was found, the Gaspard family 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."
"Shad is a fighter, a warrior and a magical soul. We are hoping and praying for his safe return," said the family. "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."