Search resumes for missing 'Glee' actor Naya Rivera

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Naya Rivera attends the 24th annual Race To Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic for Fashion Media )
Naya Rivera attends the 24th annual Race To Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic for Fashion Media )

The search for missing actor Naya Rivera has resumed at Lake Piru in Southern California.

Rivera, who is known for her role as Santana Lopez in Glee, is feared dead after going missing at the lake on Wednesday afternoon where she had rented out a pontoon boat with her four-year-old son Josey.

Police said the boat was found hours later with the child alone on board, prompting a search operation.

The sheriff's department for Ventura County had said on Wednesday night that the search for the 33-year-old would resume "at first light" but added "this may well be a case of drowning".

On Thursday morning local time, the department said the lake would be closed to the public while dive teams joined the search.

Ventura County Sheriff officer Chris Dyer said officers remain hopeful but are “realistic” about what happened.

Speaking during a press conference at the side of the lake, he said: “I think a tragic accident happened here and it breaks my heart. Not only am I helping search for Ms Rivera but I’m also a father, it really pains me that something that was meant to be so good and so fun, to come out here on the lake, went so bad.”

He added: “I’m hopeful at all times but I am realistic too about what’s going on out here and I hope we can find Ms Rivera in good health.

Naya Rivera, best known for her role on "Glee" has gone missing and is presumed to be dead after her 4-year old son was found adrift on a boat in Lake Piru in Ventura County, CA. STAR MAX File Photo: 2/6/10. (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Naya Rivera, best known for her role on "Glee" has gone missing and is presumed to be dead after her 4-year old son was found adrift on a boat in Lake Piru in Ventura County, CA. STAR MAX File Photo: 2/6/10. (Las Vegas, Nevada)

“And if that ends up not being the case, I still hope we can find her and bring closure to anything that has happened to her.”

Rivera’s most recent social media post saw her share a photo of herself and her son, captioned: “Just the two of us”.

Her disappearance prompted messages of hope from several of her former Glee co-stars.

"Praying," tweeted Harry Shum Jr, who played Mike Chang while Principal Figgins actor Iqbal Theba shared: "Oh God... mercy... please..."

Demi Lovato, who had a guest stint on the programme, said via Instagram: "Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound.”

Heather Morris, who played Rivera's character's partner on the show, wrote on her Instagram Story: "We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us. We need your love and light."

With additional reporting by PA.

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