Naya Rivera of ‘Glee’ Missing After Boat Ride in Lake; Night Search Suspended

Glee actor Naya Rivera is missing. Rivera, who used to play Santana on the series, was reported missing after going boating with her son at a California lake. Authorities started a search on Wednesday evening but suspended it due to lack of nighttime visibility. She is feared dead.

Naya Rivera and son Josey
Naya Rivera and son Josey | Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

What happened to Naya Rivera?

Originally, a woman was reported missing to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday afternoon. It was later reported by TMZ, ABC 7, and several other news outlets that the woman was 33-year-old Naya Rivera.

She and her 4-year-old son went for a boat ride at Lake Piru on Wednesday in a rented boat, and according to ABC 7, the little boy was found floating alone inside the vessel.

Rivera reportedly rented the small boat at 1 p.m. that afternoon and was due to return it. When her son was located roughly three hours later, he was sound asleep and told authorities that his mother went into the water but didn’t come back up to the surface. He was wearing a life vest but Rivera’s was still in the boat.

Police searched lake for Naya Rivera

Staff at Lake Piru contacted the authorities shortly before 5 p.m. A dive team searched the waters for Rivera, and the sheriff’s department stated they were searching for a drowning victim.

A helicopter was deployed to assist in the recovery efforts. Authorities suspended their search operation and plan to continue it in the morning.

According to MSN, the search stretched into the night and when it concluded, officials were still calling it a search and rescue mission. But many already fear the worst.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Department captain Eric Buschow stated teams will restart their efforts upon sunrise. “We anticipate having a lot of resources out here tomorrow resuming at daybreak with multiple dive teams from the state Office of Emergency Services.”

Lake Piru is located near the small town of Piru, about an hour north of L.A. It’s a popular destination for fishing, swimming, boating, and water sports during the summer months. The lake is four miles long but its total depth is unclear.

Rivera’s son said to be safe

Rivera’s son Josey helped sheriff’s deputies piece the scenario together and is said to be staying with relatives. In 2015, Rivera welcomed her son with then-husband and fellow actor Ryan Dorsey. Josey will turn five this year. After Rivera and Dorsey filed for divorce, the pair agreed to joint custody in 2017.

According to ET, Rivera Dorsey split holiday and vacation time with her ex. Dorsey, a West Virginia native, married Rivera in Mexico in 2014. The two were friends for years before tying the knot.

Josey is Dorsey and Rivera’s only child, and both are said to reside in the L.A. area. Rivera’s family is also nearby, which includes her parents, brother Mychal Rivera, and sister Nickayla Rivera.

As of Wednesday night, Rivera’s fans were extremely concerned and some were imploring the police to keep searching, even in the darkness. Some are hoping that she will be found alive and safe. Stay tuned for updated information.

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