Glee star Naya Rivera is missing and presumed dead after what appears to be a swimming accident in California’s Lake Piru. The 33-year-old actress had rented a pontoon boat with her four-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, around 1PM on July 8th. Just a few hours later, however, around 5PM, Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the boy alone on the boat, with his mother nowhere to be found.
Rivera’s son is said to have told the deputies that his mother had gone swimming but was unable to make it back to the boat. While the boy was found wearing his lifejacket, Rivera’s own lifejacket was discovered aboard the vessel, along with her identification. Dorsey was sleeping when the authorities arrived and he’s now safe with family members.
Divers have been sent into the lake to locate her, but they’ve found nothing yet. Helicopters and drones have also been enlisted to aid the divers in their search. At a press conference, Eric Buschow, spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff’s department, stated that there’s “no evidence of foul play at this point” and “this may well be a case of drowning.”
Rivera is most known for her role as Santana Lopez in the musical comedy series, appearing in 113 of its 121 episodes from 2009 to 2015. Her ex-partner and former Glee co-star Mark Salling (35) killed himself in 2018 following pleading guilty to child pornography charges. In 2013, meanwhile, another co-star, Cory Monteith (31) died of a heroin and alcohol overdose.
Naya Rivera had been sharing custody of her son with her ex-husband Ryan Dorsey since their divorce in 2018. She was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery against Dorsey in 2017, but the charges were ultimately dropped. Shortly before her disappearance, the Glee star also tweeted a photo of herself and her son in an embrace, taken on board the boat, which she captioned: “just the two of us.”
At this time, investigations into what may’ve happened are still on going, and you may wish to keep an eye on the Ventura County Sheriff department’s Twitter account for further updates, as we’re sure that more about this story will emerge in the coming days.