Former Glee star Naya Rivera, 33, was reported missing on Wednesday night, July 8. FOX Los Angeles reporter Stephanie Stanton tweeted that Rivera went “missing on Lake Piru after she and her 4 year-old son went for a boat ride,” and that “the child was found asleep on the boat.” Rivera’s vehicle, a black Mercedes G Wagon, was found in the parking lot with her purse inside.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said they responded to a report of the toddler alone on a boat around 4:48 p.m. local time, NBC Los Angeles reported. Officers on the scene found Josey, who, according to TMZ, is unharmed and now with family members.
***BREAKING*** Glee actress Naya Rivera missing on Lake Piru after she and her 4 year-old son went for a boat ride. The child was found asleep on the boat. Their vehicle, a black Mercedes G Wagon found in the parking lot with her purse inside. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/AklZkimbKl
— Stephanie Stanton (@Newzysteph) July 9, 2020
The VCSO said that both a dive team and air unit were deployed in response. Josey was found alone in the pontoon boat about three hours after it was rented. She is presumed dead and on Thursday, the search has shifted from a rescue to a recovery mission.
She and her 4 year old son rented a boat this afternoon.
3 hours later, someone discovered the boat with the child asleep.
The boy says his mom was swimming but couldn't make it back on board. pic.twitter.com/6lsIPPgBCA
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) July 9, 2020
Lake Piru is a reservoir located in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California. Here’s what you need to know about Naya Rivera:
1. Rivera’s Lifejacket Was Found on the Boat & Her Son Told Deputies That ‘Mom Jumped in the Water But Did Not Come Back Up’
The Devious Maids actress’ lifejacket was found on the boat, according to TMZ. Her son Josey told deputies that “his mom had jumped in the water… but did not come back up.” While divers continue their search for Rivera, they have not yet found her.
— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020
Reporter Rebecca Lewis tweeted at 10:38 p.m. local time on July 8, “Authorities have suspended their search for the night at Lake Piru in Ventura County and plan to resume on Thursday.” The search is expected to continue at “first light,” according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
On Thursday, The VCSO reported more than 80 people are currently involved in the search for Rivera. Authorities say it typically takes 7 to 10 days for a body to rise to the surface.
2. Rivera Posted a Sweet Photo With Josey One Day Before She Went Missing
On July 7, Rivera posted a photo on Instagram, where the actress has 1.9 million followers, which featured her son Josey. She captioned the picture, “Just the two of us.”
The actress and singer appeared to be in good spirits leading up to her trip to Lake Piru. A week earlier, Rivera posted a selfie while wearing a white shirt with a poignant caption. She wrote, “no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes every day you’re alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised.”
3. Rivera Was Gearing up to Film the New Season of ‘Step Up: High Water’
Best known for playing cheerleader Santana Lopez on the FOX hit series Glee, Rivera was currently gearing up for the new season of Starz’s Step Up: High Water, on which she’s played the role of Collette Jones since 2018.
Last month, she hyped the upcoming season on Instagram writing, “I can not wait to start filming the new season of Step Up! We’re going to bring it like never before! Happy to be a part of the @starz family! @lionsgatetv.”
Rivera previously starred on The Bernie Mac Show and The Royal Family. She made guest appearances on hit TV series such as CSI: Miami, Girlfriends, Even Stevens, Baywatch and Family Matters.
4. 2 Other ‘Glee’ Stars Have Died Young: Cory Monteith and Mark Salling
In 2013, Cory Monteith, who played the beloved jock Finn Hudson on Ryan Murphy’s hit series, died of a drug overdose in a Vancouver hotel room. He was 31.
In 2018, Mark Salling, who starred on Glee as Noah “Puck” Puckerman, died by suicide. While the actor was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, Salling was found hanging from a tree near a riverbed in the Sunland area of Los Angeles, according to TMZ. He was 35.
5. Rivera’s Co-Stars, Fans & Friends Flooded Twitter With Prayers for Her Safety
Prayers up for the lovely Naya Rivera. 🙏🙏
We starred alongside one another in her first very television series, The Royal Family, and I’ve watched her career blossom ever since. Please God, don’t cut this life short. pic.twitter.com/8fRDuuh3oK
— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) July 9, 2020
For Rivera’s millions of fans, family and co-stars, learning of her disappearance was heartbreaking news, and users online shared their hopes that she was okay on Twitter. Singer Derik Fein tweeted, “Praying that Naya Rivera is alive. Don’t even wanna imagine anything different.”
— Harry Shum Jr (@HarryShumJr) July 9, 2020
Praying for Naya Rivera. I hope she’s ok.
— Tika Sumpter (@iamtikasumpter) July 9, 2020
praying that naya rivera is alive. there’s a little boy waiting for her to come home, i’m heartbroken this is happening, please don’t stop looking for her, please. pic.twitter.com/tGOZARjuPs
— jade (@cristinasoh) July 9, 2020