MCSO: Ex-Cubs pitcher drowns at Bartlett Lake

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Bartlett Lake search (Source: CBS 5 News) Bartlett Lake search (Source: CBS 5 News)
The swimmer disappeared Sunday afternoon. (Source: CBS 5 News) The swimmer disappeared Sunday afternoon. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Frank Castillo (Source: El Paso Times) Frank Castillo (Source: El Paso Times)

An ex-pitcher for the Chicago Cubs drowned at Bartlett Lake northeast of Phoenix Sunday, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.

The body of Frank Castillo, 44, was pulled from the water at 2:26 p.m. Monday after a jet skier saw it floating.

Castillo played for the Chicago Cubs from 1991 to 1997, the Colorado Rockies, the Detroit Tigers, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox and the Florida Marlins.

The Red Sox held a moment of silence for Castillo before Monday night's game against Tampa Bay.

Sheriff's deputies said Castillo and one of his friends had rented a pontoon boat just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday and had been on the lake for only about an hour when the ex-ballplayer got into the water to go swimming.

A short time later the friend noticed the victim had not resurfaced and called 911.

MCSO's dive team searched for about two hours, but due to limited visibility and lighting conditions, scrubbed the operation until daylight.  

The dive team re-entered the water at about 8 a.m. Monday in what they classified as a recovery operation. Castillo's body was discovered some 6 1/2 hours later.

The sheriff's office said water in the area was about 25 feet deep and divers only had three-foot visibility.

Bartlett Lake is about 17 miles northeast of Carefree.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

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