FILE - In this April 1,3 2013, file photo, actress Naya Rivera arrives at Logo’s NewNowNext Awards in Los Angeles. A member of a team searching a Southern California lake for Rivera, the missing TV star, said Sunday, July 12, that he’s confident his crew is getting a clearer idea of where in the lake to find her, a magazine reported. Robert Inglis of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team told Us Weekly that Rivera sent to a family member of picture of her 4-year-old son, Joey, in front of a cove before she disappeared July 8 after diving into Lake Piru. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)

‘Glee’ star Naya Rivera found dead at California lake

Authorities would not immediately say if the person found was Rivera

The body of “Glee” star Naya Rivera was found Monday at a Southern California lake, authorities said.

Ventura County Sheriff’s officials confirmed at an afternoon news conference that the body that search crews found floating in the northeast corner of Lake Piru earlier in the day was the 33-year-old Rivera.

The discovery came five days after the 33-year-old Rivera disappeared on Lake Piru, where her son was found July 8 asleep and alone on a rented pontoon boat, authorities said.

Authorities said the following day that they believed Rivera had drowned, and they had shifted to working to find her body rather than find her alive.

The body was flown 40 miles (64 kilometres) to the coroner’s office in Ventura, where an autopsy would be conducted, Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Buschow said. Rivera’s family has been notified of the discovery.

The lake an hour’s drive from Los Angeles was searched by dozens of divers working in waters with little visibility, with help from sonar and robotic devices combing the bottom and helicopters and drones searching above.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like for her parents, her family,” Buschow said. “It takes an emotional toll on the search teams too.”

Rivera played singing cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox musical-comedy “Glee.”

She is the third major cast member from the show to die in their 30s.

The confirmation of her death comes seven years to the day after co-star Cory Monteith died at 31 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin, with the series losing one of its leads while it was still on the air.

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

Rivera had experience boating on the lake in Los Padres National Forest, authorities said.

Surveillance video shows Rivera and her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, leaving on the rented boat.

When the boat failed to return, its vendor found the vessel drifting in the northern end of the lake late Wednesday afternoon with the boy asleep on board, about three hours after it was first taken out. The boy told investigators that he and his mother had been swimming and he got back into the boat but she didn’t, according to a sheriff’s office statement.

The boy was wearing a life vest, and another life jacket was found in the boat along with Rivera’s purse and identification.

The boy, Rivera’s son from her marriage to actor Ryan Dorsey, was safe and healthy and quickly reunited with family members after he was found, authorities said.

His parents divorced in 2018 after nearly four years of marriage.

The most recent tweet on Rivera’s account, from the day before her death, read “just the two of us” along with a photo of her and her son.

READ MORE: ‘Glee’ actor Naya Rivera missing in California lake

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

missing person

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UBC soccer star Victory Shumbusho offers one-on-one training for Chilliwack players

The Chilliwack FC grad believes players need more training to reach higher levels of soccer

Wings and Wheels fundraiser ready to roll in Abbotsford this weekend

Unique collection of cars invading Tradex for drive-thru experiences on Saturday and Sunday

Chilliwack-Kent Liberal riding association president resigns

Sandy Mathies resignation follows MLA Laurie Throness LGBTQ controversies

Vedder River gets reprieve from gravel removal this summer

Applications withdrawn by river management committee and process concluded for 2020

District of Kent highlights accomplishments in 2019 report

District staff have been busy and are getting busier

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Displaced tenant ‘heartbroken’ to find Langley City condo robbed after fire

Wedding rings of Michelle Buchan’s have since been recovered, but much is still missing

Canucks fan risks life to celebrate at Surrey intersection

‘All fun and games until somebody falls out an open side door of the van’

‘Agitated’ man pulls out knife on 3 people in Abbotsford

Witnesses sought for incident on Monday night near city hall

Most Read