Search for Glee actor Naya Rivera in California lake now a recovery mission, police say
Rivera's 4-year-old son was found alone on boat in lake 90 km from Los Angeles
Authorities searching a Southern California lake Thursday for Glee star Naya Rivera after her four-year-old son was found alone on a rented boat said the search has now become a recovery mission.
More than 24 hours after she was last seen, over 80 people using helicopters, drones, and all-terrain vehicles, including divers, were involved in the search for Rivera, which began Wednesday afternoon on Lake Piru, 90 kilometres northwest of Los Angeles in the Los Padres National Forest.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Office said the search has turned into a recovery mission.
Rivera rented a pontoon boat at about 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday, and planned to go swimming with the little boy in the area reserved for recreation, authorities said.
Another boater found her son on the north end of the lake asleep on the boat and wearing a life vest.
"We're going on the belief that she did go in the water and we have not been able to locate her," Sheriff's Capt. Eric Buschow said at a news conference. "So this may well be a case of drowning."
Rivera's identification was found on the boat and her vehicle was found in a parking area, authorities said. The boy was safe and healthy and with family members.
There have been occasional drownings through the years in the popular recreation area of the lake, which is about an hour's drive from downtown L.A. It was shut down Thursday for the search.
Fire department helicopters hovered over the water on a sunny afternoon in the search's second day, and boats of several sizes could be seen skimming the water, the smaller ones searching up creeks and tributaries.
Rivera's four-year-old son is from a marriage with actor Ryan Dorsey. The couple finalized their divorce in June 2018 after nearly four years of marriage.
She called the boy, her only child, "my greatest success, and I will never do any better than him" in her 2016 memoir Sorry Not Sorry.
The most recent tweet on Rivera's account, from Tuesday, read "just the two of us" along with a photo of her and her son.
just the two of us <a href="https://t.co/wCunAlGJ1B">pic.twitter.com/wCunAlGJ1B</a>—@NayaRivera
Rivera 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. She married Dorsey a few months later.
Rivera played Santana Lopez, a singing cheerleader in the musical-comedy Glee that aired on Fox from 2009 until 2015. She appeared in 113 episodes of the series and dated co-star Mark Salling, who died by suicide in 2018 at age 35 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
Cory Monteith, one of the show's leads, died at 31 in 2013 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.