The actress' son Josey was found on the boat in the middle of the lake alone when the employee of the boat renting company came looking.
In an unprecedented tragedy, Glee actress Naya Rivera is presumed dead, having been missing for more than 24 hours after she went boating with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey. There is "no indication" that the 33-year-old actress made her way back to the shore after going missing on Wednesday, July 8, the authorities were reported as saying, according to The New York Times. They have been searching for her in the waters of Lake Piru, California.
There was nobody on the pontoon boat except Rivera and her 4-year-old son. She had rented it for going out into the water, which can run 40 to 50 feet deep, said Sgt. Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. "We’ve had no indication, after talking to her son, that Ms. Rivera made it to shore," he said. "So the focus of our search efforts are in the water at this time."
The lake is a reservoir almost 50 miles north of Los Angeles. It was reported she was missing when the boat they had hired was not returned. An employee of the rental facility started looking for the duo and found her son alone in the boat on the lake. The toddler told investigators that they had been swimming but his mother did not get back on the boat when he did, as per EOnline.
at this point we just vibin y'all pic.twitter.com/JkVhocG9jZ— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 5, 2020
Donoghue said that one life jacket was found on the boat and Rivera’s son had been wearing a second one. The search for her includes 100 people from several agencies throughout the state, he added to The New York Times. The Sheriff’s Office had said on July 8 that it was searching for a “possible drowning victim." The search was suspended late that day and resumed the next morning.
Officer Chris Dyer of the Ventura County Sheriff's office said that they are looking at a search and recovery operation, as per BBC. "We're presuming that an accident happened, we're presuming that she drowned in the lake," he said. "There are no signs of foul play, no signs that anything went wrong, besides a tragic accident."
no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you're alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised pic.twitter.com/O4t7wdqA4k— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 2, 2020
In the part of the lake where the boat was found, the still water runs 30 feet deep. According to the New York Times, Donaghue said, "In this particular lake, in that area, there’s a lot of trees and plants and such that are under the water that can cause entanglements. It makes it unsafe for the divers, and it makes a more complicated search.”
“If the body is entangled beneath the water, it may never come back up," he added.
The actress who played the sharp-witted cheerleader Santana Lopez has been to the lake in the past. She began acting at the age of four on the CBS sitcom The Royal Family. She has also been seen on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, and Baywatch. She had been "happy" and "excited" about her future. A source close to her told EOnline that she was "in a really good place."
"Probably the best I've ever seen her," the source said. "She finally had a great co-parenting system worked out, and she seemed genuinely really happy. She was excited for new beginnings this year," they said.
Rivera and actor Ryan Dorsey were married from 2014 to 2016. They became parents to their baby boy in 2015, and her son was the most important person to her. "Naya and Josey were incredibly close and had a very tight bond," the source told EOnline. They added that the boating trip would not be a "surprise to anyone" who knew them. Her last tweet was also a photo of her son and her. It said, "Just the two of us."
Her friends, like former castmate Heather Morris, said she has her hopes up. "It's so hard to wrap your head around something unknown," Morris said, as per EOnline. "I'm holding on to hope that the rescuers will bring Naya home in a swift and speedy recovery. I know she would remind me in moments like this that God has a plan for everything and although we may not know that that plan is, we need to keep our chin up and stay strong."
People have been praying for the actress and sharing their thoughts on Twitter. Some conspiracy theorists have also been talking about the Glee curse, as multiple cast members have died or faced other tragedies.