Former Glee actress Naya Rivera is missing and feared dead after a boating incident on Wednesday (July 8, 2020) which saw her four-year-old son left alone in a pontoon on a Californian lake.
The 33-year-old rented the boat on Lake Piru around lunchtime on Wednesday, to take a trip out with her son Josey Dorsey. However, after the boat was overdue for return, staff at the lake went to search for it – and found it with her son asleep onboard, but not Naya.
According to reports, Josey told authorities that his actress mom never got back on the boat after the pair went swimming. And while Josey was wearing a life vest, Naya is believed not to have been wearing one, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deployed air and dive teams to “search for (a) possible drowning victim”, which they later said was Rivera after identifying her thanks to her wallet and identification being found on the boat.
They wrote on their Twitter page: “The missing person at Lake Piru has been identified as Naya Rivera, 33, of Los Angeles. SAR (search and rescue) operation will continue at first light.”
Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Eric Buschow added that Josey, who was initially mistakenly identified as a three-year-old girl, is in “good health”, but said “the family is going through a very traumatic time right now”.
One of Rivera’s most recent posts on Instagram saw her urge fans to make the most of their lives, as she wrote: “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.”
Naya is most famous for playing Santana Lopez on U.S. TV show Glee from 2009 to 2015.
Josey is her son with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, who she divorced in 2018 after four years of marriage.
The pair share joint custody of their son.