On Wednesday afternoon, Naya Rivera had taken her 4-year-old son to Lake Piru in Ventura County, CA. She had rented a boat around 1 PM, local time. However, when the boat hadn’t returned to the rental office by 4 PM (when the rental time was set to end), staff members were sent out onto the lake to search for her.
According to CNN, the Ventura County Sheriff’s office had responded to a call, regarding an unattended minor on a boat. When Deputy Chris Dyer arrived at the scene, he confirmed that while Rivera’s son was safely on the boat, Rivera was nowhere to be found. He also stated that there was an extra life jacket that was left on the pontoon boat (investigators assumed that Rivera had left her life jacket behind).
In the statement that Rivera’s son had given to authorities, the two were initially swimming in the lake, having a fun time. However, after Rivera’s son had gotten back onto the boat, he noticed that his mother was nowhere to be found.
Authorities and investigators are now believing that Rivera may have drowned in the lake. Although there was a search party with over 80 people involved (along with helicopters, boats, and ATVs), Dyers admitted that the low visibility is making the search for Rivera even more challenging.
“We’re talking during the day 8 to 10 inches of visibility in the lake, lots of debris, full-sized trees and debris under the water and varying depths”, he stated.
Sources close to Rivera have revealed that she was a frequent visitor at Lake Piru, and that she had prior boating experience at the site. However, according to an article by the Los Angeles Times in 2000, Lake Piru is known for an extensive amount of drowning accidents. The article (titled: “Lake Piru’s Tragic Tolls”) contains a list of victims who have drowned at the site. Some were just inexperienced swimmers, while others didn’t quite understand the severity of the lake’s conditions.
Earlier today, the Ventura County Sheriff’s office has admitted that the search is no longer a “mission rescue”. It has now become a “recovery operation”.
Just a few hours ago, the official Ventura County Sheriff’s Twitter account released the 911 recording, which documents the exact moment that Rivera’s son was first spotted alone.
Rivera was best known for her recurring role as Santana Lopez on the hit FOX television show, “Glee”.
As of now, Rivera has yet to be found, and her last social media post contained a photo of Rivera and her son, with the caption: “just the two of us”.
Fans, friends and other celebrities are still hoping for the best possible outcome for the former “Glee” actress.
We’re sending positive thoughts to Rivera’s family, and we hope that Rivera is safely found and brought back home.