On July 8th, Naya Rivera took her 4-year-old son, Josey, to Lake Piru, in Ventura County, CA. The two had been out on the lake several times before. Rivera rented a pontoon boat around 1 pm, and the return time was 4 pm, local time.
When Rivera didn’t return the boat by 4:45 p.m, a crew was sent out to search for them. According to a now-released 911 dispatch call, a woman had discovered the boat towards the North end of the lake. She called the Ventura County police to report an unattended minor, sleeping in a boat.
Authorities later discovered that the young child in the boat was Josey Rivera. Naya was no where to be found, and when asked where his mother was, Josey had reportedly informed the police that they went for a swim. As they made their way back to the boat, Josey was lifted back onto the boat. Yet, when he turned back to search for his mother, he spotted Naya getting pulled under the current.
Investigators discovered that while Josey was wearing his life jacket, the adult life jacket was found untouched, and still on the boat. Lake Piru is notoriously known for its strong current and numerous drowning accidents.
In the days following Naya’s disappearance, a search team of 80+ volunteers were formed. The Ventura County Police Department also stated that they were utilizing ATV’s, a specialized diving team, dogs, ground personnel, an ROV, and side scan sonars.
Unfortunately, around mid-day yesterday, the official Ventura County Police Department Twitter page released the following statement:
Although fans and friends of Rivera were still holding out for hope, it was later confirmed that the body was that of Naya Rivera.
Since the news first broke, celebrities and fans have been paying tribute to the beloved actress, mother, and friend.
Rivera was just 33-years-old at the time of her tragic passing, and was best known for her role as Santana Lopez in the popular FOX television show, “Glee”.
Our deepest condolences go out to her family and friends, as they remain in our thoughts at this time.