Glee: Star Naya Rivera Drwoned

Glee’ Star Naya Rivera Presumed Drowned

Naya RiveraWomen's Guild Cedar's-Sinai Luncheon, Arrivals,


A large personnel from several law enforcement agencies continue to search for former Glee star Nava Rivera, who is missing after a boating trip on Lake Piru on Wednesday. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department shifted the incident to a search and recovery operation.

Rivera is best known for her role as Santana Lopez on the Fox series “Glee,” playing it for 6 years. After her breakout role on the musical series, she appeared in “Devious Maids” and “Step Up: High Water.”

As part of the “Glee” cast, she received several nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Grammys and Teen Choice Awards. During her “Glee” run, she signed to Columbia Records in 2011 and released a single, titled “Sorry,” with rapper Big Sean.

“We are presuming that an accident happened and we are presuming that she drowned in the lake,” Deputy Chris Dyer said at a press conference. “The goal is still to bring Ms. Rivera home to her family so they can have some closure.”

Rivera rented a boat with her 4-year-old son about 1 p.m. on Wednesday. About three hours later, an employee at the boat rental shack noted that the boat was overdue and went to look for her. He found the boat on the north side of the lake. The boy was in the boat, apparently asleep, and Rivera was missing.

“We have no indication, after talking to her son, that Ms. Rivera made it to shore,” Donoghue said. “He gave enough information to investigators to conclude that his mother never made it out of the water.”

Investigators recovered surveillance video from the boat dock that showed Rivera and her son getting onto the boat and leaving the dock. There was no video from the north end of the lake. The boy was wearing a life jacket, and another life jacket was found in the boat, Donoghue said. Rivera’s purse and her ID were also found in the boat.

Searchers from neighboring counties began to look for Rivera late Wednesday afternoon. The search included helicopters, a drone team, and multiple dive teams. The search was called off about 10 p.m. Wednesday due to dangerous conditions, including varying depths and underwater debris, and it resumed at dawn on Thursday.

Dyer said that visibility in the lake is 8-10 inches during the day, and that Rivera was familiar with the lake, and had been there before.  There was no indication that Rivera was upset or distraught.

“I can’t stress enough that this just seems like a tragic accident — come out here for a great day and something bad happens,” Dyer said.