Naya Rivera was reported missing on Wednesday. The 33-year-old actress, best known for playing Santana Lopez on the hit series Glee, vanished after renting a pontoon boat with her four-year-old son Josey Dorsey. According to reports, the child was found hours later by himself in the vessel on California’s Lake Piru. At a news conference (via CNN), Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Buschow revealed that Josey said he and his mother went swimming, but Naya did not get back in the boat.
“I can’t make any sense of what happened,” Ventura County Deputy Chris Dyer said (via NBC Los Angeles). “We just know that we found a 4-year-old on a boat, and he said that his mother never got back in.” He added “So, right now, we’re viewing this as a tragic accident.”
Officials told NBCLA that Josey was wearing a life vest, but believe his mother was not since an adult life jacket was found on board. On Wednesday, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department tweeted about a “possible drowning victim at Lake Piru,” who was later identified as Naya. Authorities suspended the SAR operation in the evening, saying it would resume at the “first light” on Thursday.
“The search for Naya Rivera will continue this morning at Lake Piru,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department tweeted on July 9. “The lake will be closed to the public while search operations continue. Dive teams from throughout the region will be assisting us through mutual aid.”
The TV star shares her son with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey. Following news of Naya’s disappearance, the actress’ former Glee co-stars asked fans for prayers. “We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us. We need your love and light 🙏🙏,” Heather Morris penned, while Harry Shum Jr. simply tweeted: “Praying.” Demi Lovato, who guest-starred as Santana’s love interest on the Golden Globe-winning show, wrote: “Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound.”
Less than a week before she vanished, Naya reminded her followers that “tomorrow is not promised.” On July 2, the mom of one shared a photo of herself, writing: “no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you’re alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised.”