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

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Eliot Kinsey runs T3ch For the People at Ladysmith Secondary. (Jennifer Fink photo)
High school student joins program to improve access to technology

By George Brockhurst, LSS Student Writer As the world moves forward, people… Continue reading

Lymphedema is often treated with medical devices such as compression garments, pneumatic compression pumps, or specialized custom wraps and bandages. (Submitted photo)
March 6 marks World Lymphedema Day

Lymphedema is caused by damage to the lymphatic system, and afflictings millions worldwide

Work has begun on the Downtown Public Washroom on 1st Avenue. (Submitted photo)
Work has begun on the Ladysmith Downtown Public Washroom

The project is expected to be finished in the spring

An architectural rendering of the five storey condo building at 201/203 Dogwood Drive. (BJK Architecture photo)
Five storey condo building proposal at Dalby’s proceeds to public hearing stage

Frank and Mike Crucil of FMC Holdings are hoping to turn Dalby’s Automotive into a five storey condo

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read