Update 14/07: Naya Rivera Death Confirmed After Body Found In Lake
After a five day search, authorities have confirmed that a body pulled from Lake Piru in California is that of the missing Glee actor Naya Rivera.
The 33-year-old was reported missing last week when her four-year-old son was found by himself on a boat that his mother had rented for the day.
A search from the Ventura County Sheriff office was then conducted, while Rivera's co-stars, friends and fans kept her in their thoughts and hoped for good news.
Sadly, in a press conference on Tuesday, the county office confirmed that a body recovered from the lake was Rivera's. They also provided more tragic details, including their belief that after Rivera and her son went for a swim, something went awry and the actor managed to ensure her son was safe, but lost her own fight to stay afloat.
'We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey, it was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya who boosted him onto the deck from behind,' a police spokesperson told reporters. 'He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.'
Her son was later found wearing a life jacket and wrapped in a towel on the boat, the authorities confirmed.
Responding a journalist's question, the officer said there are a lot of currents on the lake and that the boat could have possibly started drifting as it was unanchored. The officer acceded that the currents may have been working against Rivera, at which point Rivera 'mustered enough enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself'.
Following confirmation of the actor's passing, tributes have poured in for the late mother, including former co-stars from Glee - where she rose to fame playing cheerleader Santana Lopez.
RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted (at the time) queer girls like me, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. pic.twitter.com/oCML03M9Kw— Team Demi (@ddlovato) July 14, 2020
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you. pic.twitter.com/qX9t1Uhx01— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 14, 2020
😢Such a devastating and tragic passing. I am so sorry/heartbroken for Nayas friends and family. I will continue to pray for healing and strength during this horrific time. 💔 2020 has been too heavy 💔— Khloé (@khloekardashian) July 14, 2020
Original story 09/07: Naya Rivera Is Missing After Her Son Was Found Alone In A Boat On California Lake
Fears are growing for Glee star Naya Rivera, after her son was found alone on a boat on a Californian lake having spent the day with his mother.
The 33-year-old actress is now officially 'missing,' the Ventura County Sheriff office confirmed on Wednesday.
The Sheriff's office launched a search operation, including dive teams, at Lake Piru, which is located north of Los Angeles, on Wednesday afternoon before calling off the search for the evening. They announced on Twitter that it will be resumed on Thursday 'at first light'.
According to the local news outlet NBC LA, Rivera's four year old son Josey Hollis Dorsey was found sleeping on a pontoon boat after they responded to a call about an unaccompanied child on the lake at 4.48pm on Wednesday.
Rivera had rented the boat three hours prior, for herself and her son to enjoy some recreational time on the lake. It has been reported that River and her son went for a swim, but Rivera did not return to the boat. Josey was found wearing a life jacket, but an adult size life jacket was discovered on the boat, leading many to assume Rivera was not wearing one.
'This is considered to be a horrible accident', the Sheriff department told the news outlet.
Josey is Rivera's only child, from her four year marriage to actor Ryan Dorsey. On her Instagram page, where she has 1.9 million followers, she regularly posts photos with Josey with the latest uploaded one day ago.
Rivera became a household name for playing icy cheerleader Santana Lopez in Ryan Murphy's musical themed high-school drama Glee from 2009 to 2015.
Heather Morris, Rivera's friend who played Santana's girlfriend Britney on the show, expressed her heartache over Wednesday's worrying news, saying she was praying for her friend.
'We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us,' the actress and dancer wrote. 'We need your love and light.'
ELLE will keep this article updated with more news when we have it.
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