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Family says ex-Jays pitcher Castillo has drowned

Toronto Blue Jays' starting pitcher Frank Castillo delivers against the Anaheim Angels during the first inning in Anaheim, Calif., April 12, 2000. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Michael Caulfield

Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Frank Castillo has drowned, his family confirmed to KVIA on Monday.

Castillo was 44 years old.

He drowned in Bartlett Lake in Arizona near his home Sunday afternoon. Authorities say divers will continue searching the lake for his body on Monday.

They also state Castillo was on a pontoon boat with a friend when he decided to go swimming. A friend reportedly called for help when Castillo didn’t surface from the water.

The following statement was released by the Castillo family to KVIA on Monday:

Frank Castillo died on Sunday in a drowning accident while with his family at a lake near his home. Frank was a wonderful son, terrific brother, and an extraordinary father to his two beautiful girls.

Everyone who knew Frank loved Frank. We are devastated by this loss.

It is impossible to express in words the level of sadness we feel due to this tragedy.

All of those who counted Frank as a personal friend, and to all those wonderful fans who cheered for him during his major league career, we genuinely appreciate your prayers and kind words during this extremely difficult time.

While we may not be able to thank each of you in person, it is very comforting to know that you are with us in spirit.

Castillo played for the Blue Jays in 2000, recording a 10-5 record with a 3.59 ERA in 24 starts.

Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1987, Castillo had a career 4.56 ERA and a record of 82 wins and 104 losses with Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, and Florida.

This story originally appeared on Sportsnet.ca