Naya Rivera, best known for her starring role as cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee, was reported missing on Wednesday after an outing with her child on Lake Piru, California. The 33-year-old actress is presumed dead as the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is now calling it a search and recovery effort, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Rivera rented a pontoon boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey, on Wednesday afternoon. She didn’t return after they went swimming in the water. Josey, whom Rivera shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, was found sleeping alone on the boat around 4 p.m. PT. It’s unclear at this time how he got back on the boat.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office confirmed late Wednesday to the New York Times a search was underway for a “possible drowning victim” in the lake. The search was suspended and resumed Thursday morning. Yahoo Entertainment reached out to a spokesperson for an update on Thursday but did not immediately receive a response.
On Twitter, the sheriff’s office confirmed the lake will be closed to the public on Thursday as the search continues. Dive teams throughout the region are assisting.
The search for Naya Rivera will continue this morning at Lake Piru. The lake will be closed to the public while search operations continue. Dive teams from throughout the region will be assisting us through mutual aid. @VCAirUnit @Cal_OES @fillmoresheriff pic.twitter.com/q6LsHd8xaT— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office told the Times that Rivera’s son said he and his mother went swimming in the lake, but that she did not get back on the boat. Josey had been found wearing a life vest, but the sheriff’s office did not believe Rivera had been wearing one as a second life vest was found inside the boat.
The Lake Piru Recreation Area is a reservoir and campground in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County about an hour outside of Los Angeles. It was closed due to the coronavirus but reopened on July 1 with limited activities.
“There’s a lot of challenges in a reservoir this size, at times with visibility,” sheriff’s Capt. Eric Buschow told CBS Los Angeles. “I don’t have details yet as to the depth of the area where the boat was found or what conditions they’re encountering out there.”
Rivera’s last post on social media was on Tuesday. She shared a photo with her son, writing, “Just the two of us.”
Prayers are pouring in on social media for Rivera’s safe return, including from Demi Lovato and the actress’s Glee family.
“Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound,” Lovato wrote on her Instagram Story alongside a picture of a lit candle. The singer guest-starred on Glee as Rivera's love interest.
Heather Morris, who shared many scenes with Rivera on Glee, wrote on her Instagram Story, “We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us. We need your love and light.”
Glee actors Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum Jr. and Iqbal Theba also reacted on social media.
love and hug on the people you can, while you can. I love you. Everyone please send out your prayers.— Chord Overstreet (@chordoverstreet) July 9, 2020
Praying.— Harry Shum Jr (@HarryShumJr) July 9, 2020
Jersey Shore star Snooki called the new “absolutely heartbreaking,” adding the hashtag #FindNaya.
Waking up to Naya Rivera missing is an absolute tragedy. Praying for her safety🙏🏽🙏🏽 So absolutely heartbreaking thinking of her 4 year old. #FindNaya— Nicole Polizzi (@snooki) July 9, 2020
This story was originally published on July 9, 2020, at 10:02 a.m. ET.
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