A body discovered early Wednesday morning along Venice Beach has been identified by authorities as that of former WWE star Shad Gaspard, who disappeared while swimming in the ocean Sunday.
Officers were notified of the discovery just before 1:30 a.m. by a citizen who reported finding a body near 27th Avenue and Ocean Front Walk, the Los Angeles Police Department stated in a news release.
Police held a news conference early Wednesday morning to announce the discovery, but did not initially identify the person.
An investigator from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office later identified the body as Gaspard’s and notified next of kin, the news release stated.
Gaspard, 39, had last been seen by a Los Angeles County lifeguard about 3:40 p.m. Sunday as he was swimming with his son about 50 yards off of Venice Beach.
The two found themselves caught up in dangerous surf and in need of help from lifeguards.
Rescuers went into the water and managed to bring the child out safely but could not locate Gaspard after he was struck by a large wave and pulled out to sea.
The Coast Guard and other agencies spent the rest of Sunday looking for Gaspard before calling off the search at sundown.
Crews were out again on Monday and Tuesday using sonar in hopes of finding the former professional wrestler.
The WWE and executive Triple H took to Twitter to remember Gaspard.
Gaspard’s last act was directing lifeguards to save his son’s life before his, the WWE reported.
L.A. County reopened its beaches last Wednesday for physical activities, which includes walking, running and swimming. The beach had been closed to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.