Glee star Naya Rivera presumed dead as investigators continue with “search and recovery operation”

The actor rented a boat with her son yesterday and went missing shortly afterwards.

Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Luncheon

The search-and-rescue effort to find missing Glee star Naya Rivera at California’s Lake Piru has transitioned into a search-and-recovery operation, with the star presumed dead, investigators have said. The actress’ son, Josey – who was his mother in a rented boat before she went missing – has been reunited with her ex-husband, actor Ryan Dorsey.


According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Glee’s Rivera is now presumed dead after she went missing while renting a boat with her four-year-old son.

The actor had rented the boat at Lake Piru in California yesterday but did not come back to return the boat – with it later found with her son still inside but no trace of Rivera.

According to reports, both Rivera and her son had gone swimming in the lake and only her child got back on the boat.

Captain Eric Buschow of the Venture Country Sheriff’s Office told US media including Deadline that “we’re presuming she drowned in the lake”.

He added: “They were seen going out on the lake together in the early afternoon, and approximately three hours after they left the dock another boater out on the lake discovered the boat drifting with the [son] on board asleep.

“So they contacted the rangers and began an investigation and we’ve been actively searching for the mother since that time. We have both aerial search going on and our dive team as well.”

After news broke Rivera was presumed dead, several Glee stars took to social media to post tributes to the actor.

On Wednesday, a team including a helicopter with a drone was dispatched to search for Rivera. The operation will continue today, although nothing has been found so far.


Rivera played Santana on Ryan Murphy’s Glee from 2009-2015, during which time she scored a host of award wins and nominations.