The body of star actress Naya Rivera’s has been recovered from Lake Piru following a six-day search after the “Glee” actress disappeared from a rented boat.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced that a body found at the Southern California lake Monday morning has been identified as Rivera, who was 33.
Sherrif Bill ayub on Monday said that based on the location, physical characteristics and clothing, as well as the absence of anyone else reported missing from the area, authorities were confident that the body was that of Rivera. He added that there was no indication of foul play around her death and it did not look like suicide either.
Ayub said Rivera’s body was found “in the northeastern portion of the lake,” where the water was 35 to 60 feet deep. A boat crew spotted the body around 9:10 a.m. Monday.
Rivera disappeared at the lake last Wednesday afternoon, where she had rented the boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey. Boaters found the child alone on the boat with Rivera’s purse, wallet and life jacket.
She had chatted with family members on FaceTime, and investigators used those videos to identify areas the two had visited.
Police believe Rivera’s unanchored boat started to drift away from the actress and her son while they were swimming. Ayub said Rivera mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself.
Her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. Her son told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.
Rivera’s family visited the lake regularly as the sheriff’s office used sonar technology to comb through the murky water and looked through surrounding buildings and shores. Her parents were taken out on the water Monday to see where Rivera was found.
Naya Riveras’s background
A Southern California native, Rivera was born and raised in the Santa Clarita Valley of Los Angeles County, approximately 20 miles from Lake Piru. She had previously been to the lake, authorities said.
Naya Rivera’s Career
Rivera started her career in entertainment at age 4, with recurring roles on “Family Matters” and “The Royal Family,” as well as minor appearances on other shows like “Baywatch” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” according to IMDb.
Rivera is best known for playing the snarky Santana Lopez on the Fox musical dramedy “Glee,” which ran from 2009 to 2015.
Most recently, Rivera starred as Collette Jones for three seasons of the YouTube Red series “Step Up: High Water.”
Twentieth Century Fox Television, the production company behind “Glee,” said, “Our hearts are broken.”
She was described as a fierce person full of talent and her contribution to the show ”Glee” from the first episode to the last will forever be in people’s hearts.
The day before she went missing, Rivera posted a picture to Instagram of her embracing her son, with the caption, “Just the two of us.”
In her 2016 memoir “Sorry Not Sorry,” Rivera called her son, whose father is actor Ryan Dorsey, “my greatest success, and I will never do any better than him.” Rivera and Dorsey divorced in June 2018 after nearly four years of marriage.
The actress was engaged to rapper Big Sean in 2013, but their relationship ended a year later. The pair met on Twitter and collaborated musically, with the rapper appearing on Rivera’s debut single, “Sorry.”
On July 2, Rivera wrote on Instagram: “No matter the year, circumstance, or strife, every day you’re alive is a blessing. Make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised.”
Rivera’s body has been transported to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office, where identification will be confirmed.