Naya Rivera presumed dead and police say her body may not be found

10 July 2020, 10:21

Actress Naya Rivera is presumed dead after going missing on Lake Piru in California.
Actress Naya Rivera is presumed dead after going missing on Lake Piru in California. Picture: Getty

Former Glee actress Naya Rivera went missing on Wednesday after her son was spotted sleeping alone on a boat in Lake Piru in California.

Naya Rivera was reported missing on Wednesday (8 Jul) and police say she is presumed dead after a tragic boating trip on Lake Piru in California with her 4-year-old son.

Glee's Naya Rivera missing and feared dead after son, 4, found alone on boat

The 33-year-old actress and her son, Josey Hollis, rented a pontoon on the lake that afternoon, but Josey was spotted sleeping alone on the boat three hours later, drifting towards the northern part of the lake. Rivera was nowhere to be seen.

Emergency services are carrying out the search for missing actress Naya Rivera over Lake Piru.
Emergency services are carrying out the search for missing actress Naya Rivera over Lake Piru. Picture: Getty
Naya rented out a pontoon with her son Josey on Lake Piru, but she went missing hours later.
Naya rented out a pontoon with her son Josey on Lake Piru, but she went missing hours later. Picture: Getty

The effort to find Rivera has now been classed as a "search and recovery operation", and a Ventura County Sheriff spokesman said it may be some time before her body is found.

"If the body is entangled on something beneath the water, it may never come back up."

"There's no way to really say. We're putting our best foot forward to try and locate her, we're using all the assets that are available to us including technology like sonar."

Josey was found wearing his life jacket and said that he and his mother had been swimming in the lake. He said that he got back onto the boat, but his mother did not. Rivera's identification and life jacket were found on board.

Police say it may time some time to find Rivera's body as it may be tangled in debris underneath the surface of the water.
Police say it may time some time to find Rivera's body as it may be tangled in debris underneath the surface of the water. Picture: Getty

The lake has remained closed while emergency services carry out their search. However, visibly even during the daytime is limited, with a huge amount of debris - including trees - lay beneath.

Rivera, who played cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee, married fellow actor Ryan Dorsey in 2014. They divorced in 2018 with joint custody of their son Josey.

The California native was previously engaged to rapper Big Sean in October 2013, but they broke up in April the following year.

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