Glee actress Naya Rivera is presumed to have accidentally drowned in a lake in California according to authorities on Thursday. A search that included divers, patrol boats and helicopters could not find Naya. A statement from Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said the operation to locate the 33-year-old at Lake Piru has turned into a recovery mission. The lake is located an hour’s drive northwest of Los Angeles.
The statement said that the investigators believe that the actress had drowned in what looked like a tragic accident. Naya, who is known for her role as high school cheerleader Santana Lopez in Glee went missing on Wednesday after renting a boat at the camping and recreational hotspot with her four-year-old son.
Her son was found in the boat about three hours later by another person out on the lake “asleep and with his life vest on” according to Eric Buschow, a spokesman for Ventura County Sheriff’s Office who informed AFP. In the statement it was revealed that Naya’s son told investigators that he and his mother had been swimming in the lake and he returned to the boat but Naya did not.
Approximately 100 personnel including the US Coast Guard and rescuers from neighbouring counties searched the entire shoreline and surface of the lake. The lake was closed to the public during the search. There was less than one foot (30 centimeters) of visibility underwater in daylight for the dive teams to work with, making “the recovery operation a very slow process” even with the use of sonar equipment.
Naya acted in six seasons of Glee, a hit musical TV series set in an American high school that concluded in 2015. The actress’ latest projects include Devious Maids and web series Step Up:High Water. The actress recently uploaded a photo of her and her son Josey Hollis Dorsey on Twitter on Tuesday with the caption: “Just the two of us.” Well-wishers left comments on the tweet, offering their prayers.
Josey’s father and Naya’s ex husband actor Ryan Dorsey divorced in 2018. This is not the first time tragedy has struck the Glee cast. In 2018, actor Mark Salling committed suicide weeks before being sentenced for possession of child pornography. Another castmate Canadian Cory Monteith died in July 2013 of an overdose of drugs and alcohol.