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Shad Gaspard, Former WWE Star, Found Dead in Venice Beach After Going Missing

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Shad Gaspard has been found dead after he went missing following a swim at Venice Beach in California on Sunday. He was 39.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirms to ET that the body that washed ashore overnight is that of Gaspard. An examination is pending.

Los Angeles Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey said in a press conference that officers were called to Lifeguard Tower 26 located on Venice Beach at about 1:45 a.m. after a man, who has now been identified as Gaspard, was found lifeless by two people 15 minutes prior. Gaspard's body was found about half a mile north of where he was last seen.

The former WWE star and his 10-year-old son were among swimmers caught in a riptide at the popular tourist spot around 4 p.m. on Sunday, according to multiple reports. At the time, an eyewitness told TMZ that once lifeguards rushed to rescue swimmers, Gaspard instructed them to help his son before helping him. They successfully rescued the young boy, but another large wave is said to have crashed onto Gaspard.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Gaspard family thanked everyone for their support.

"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 reads. "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."

Prior to ending his wrestling career in 2010, Gaspard was a a major star of the WWE, as one-half of tag team Cryme Tyme -- with his partner Jayson Anthony Paul, a.k.a. JTG. He also appeared in movies, including Think Like a Man Too.

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