Body Found In Search For Missing Glee Star Naya Rivera

Ash Percival

A body has been found body at the California lake where Naya Rivera went missing, US authorities have said.

The former Glee star disappeared last Wednesday after renting a boat with her four-year-old son Josey Hollis at Lake Piru, California.

Josey was found asleep and wearing a life jacket on the boat, with his mother nowhere to be seen. He told police he had seen her disappear beneath the surface.

A rescue mission was launched but less than 24 hours later police said she was presumed dead.

In a tweet posted on Monday evening, Ventura County Sheriff department said: “A body has been found at Lake Piru this morning.

“The recovery is in progress. There will be a news conference at 2pm at the lake.”

According to local reports quoting the sheriff’s department, Naya rented a boat at Lake Piru at about 1pm local time. She and her son were swimming, and he was wearing a life vest, but she was not. 

Naya Rivera pictured in 2017 (Photo: SIPA USA/PA Images)

On Thursday morning local time, the Ventura County Sheriff’s office said Naya was presumed dead, stating that the effort to find her was being considered a “search and recovery operation”.

The 33-year-old star is best known for her portrayal of the cheerleader Santana Lopez in all six series of the musical comedy, Glee.

Naya Rivera played Santana on Glee (Photo: FOX via Getty Images)

More recently, she appeared in the TV series Devious Maids, and from 2018, she had a recurring role as Collette Jones in the Step Up: High Water YouTube series.

Naya also appeared in films including At The Devil’s Door and Mad Families, and embarked on her music career in 2013, releasing the single Sorry, which featured her then-boyfriend Big Sean. 

In 2015, Naya welcomed son Josey with then-husband Ryan Dorsey. Naya tweeted a picture of her and the boy together the day before she went missing, which was captioned: “Just the two of us.” 

Investigators had stressed the many difficulties posed by the search, including strong currents, dangerous underwater debris and visibility of 1ft-2ft, PA Media reports.

On Sunday, police extended their search to the cabins and outbuildings around the lake – as well as taking another look at the shoreline.

It came after an online petition demanded the search be extended in case Rivera had left the lake.

Police said they were almost certain she was still in the water. Sonar had been used to scan the bottom of the lake while police divers and cadaver dogs also took part in the search.

Rivera looks increasingly likely to become the third major cast member from Glee to die in their 30s.

Co-star Mark Salling, who Rivera dated at one point, killed himself in 2018 at age 35 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Cory Monteith, one of the show’s leads, died at 31 in 2013 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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