Former MLB pitcher Frank Castillo drowns in Bartlett Lake


by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

Video report by Steve Bodinet

Posted on July 28, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 29 at 6:43 PM

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BARTLETT LAKE, Ariz. -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office dive team has recovered the body of a man who drowned in Bartlett Lake.

A family and friends were on a boating trip at the lake on Sunday. They stopped the boat in a northeast section of the lake to do some swimming. That's when a 44-year-old man later identified as retired Major League Baseball pitcher Frank Castillo slipped under the water and did not resurface.

The family called the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, which has a substation at Bartlett Lake

The group was in a remote part of the lake and it took divers a little while to get there. The search effort quickly switched to recovery.

Divers combed the water for two hours but didn't find anything by sunset so they suspended the recovery effort until Monday morning.

"They covered a lot of area today ... they've narrowed down the location where they think he might be. At this point he is maybe in about 25 feet of water," said Deputy Joaquin Enriquez with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies found Castillo's body Monday afternoon.

Deputies do not think alcohol was involved in this incident. They said Castillo wasn't a good swimmer and wasn't wearing a life jacket, according to the family.

During his 13-year MLB career, Castillo played for the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies, the Detroit Tigers, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox and the Florida Marlins.

Castillo family's statement

"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.

"To 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.

"We will provide information about the funeral service once we are able to make all of the arrangements."