Body found on beach identified as missing former WWE star Shad Gaspard

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Jim Ross has only fond memories of Shad Gaspard (1:45)

Jim Ross talks to Ariel Helwani about the death of former WWE star Shad Gaspard. (1:45)

LOS ANGELES -- The body of former World Wrestling Entertainment star Shad Gaspard was found early Wednesday on 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 Los Angeles Police Department statement said.

"The decedent was identified as Shad Gaspard and next of kin was notified," it said.

Gaspard was 39. He went missing 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 after they were caught in the strong currents at Venice Beach.

Gaspard was about 50 yards from shore when he was last spotted by a lifeguard, police said. A wave crashed over him and he was swept out to sea.

"When last seen by the lifeguard, a wave had crashed over Mr. Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea," police said in a statement Monday.

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.

On Thursday she issued her first statement since Shad's death.

View this post on Instagram

Aryeh, myself and the Gaspard and Chittick families would like to take this time to thank everyone for their prayers and support, as we mourn the terrible loss of our beloved Shad. . . Shad was our whole world and we were his. There are not enough words to describe what he means to all of us. He was our heart, our soul, our protector, our warrior. He was a bright force of nature, who brught joy to many through his joyous and gracious nature. . . The outpouring of love from Shad's friends, colleagues and fans has meant more to us than you can even imagine. . . We'd like to once again thank the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their efforts. . . Shad was and will always be our real life super hero. . . I love you more, my love ❤️ . . -Proudly, . Siliana Gaspard

A post shared by Siliana Gaspard (@silianagaspard) on

Gaspard gained prominence in the WWE as half of the tag team group Cryme Tyme, along with his partner, JTG.

Since retiring from the WWE in 2010, Gaspard has had small roles on TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard."