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)

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

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak hits first Greater Victoria hospital

Island Health declares outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

On Nov. 23, Saanich council voted unanimously in favour of sending a letter encouraging the federal government to pass a bill to declare Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich calls for national day of reconciliation honouring residential school survivors

Sept. 30 statutory holiday would recognize harm residential schools caused, mayor says

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by former Saanich resident surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Greater Victoria 4-H club member Sava Bell is all smiles holding some of the garden fresh ingredients he used to make his award-winning dish for the Field to Fork Challenge. (Courtesy Agriculture in the Classroom)
Greater Victoria 4-H members among winners in provincewide cooking competition

Field to Fork Challenge encourages B.C. youth to prepare healthy, local foods

12-year-old Ella Smiley captured some video of orcas on a sea lion hunt on Nov. 28 at Kitty Coleman Park, just north of Courtenay. Photo by Ella Smiley
VIDEO: Orcas hunt sea lion near Vancouver Island shoreline

Twelve-year-old Ella Smiley, of Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings, caught up with a… Continue reading

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Most Read