VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday the search for mother, actress, singer, and author Naya Rivera is now a recovery mission and that she is presumed dead.
Authorities initially resumed rescue efforts after the former “Glee” star and Southern California native was reported missing Wednesday afternoon. She was presumed drowned after her four-year-old son was found alone on a boat in Lake Piru.
Rescue efforts have now shifted to a recovery mission.
The lake was closed to the public as authorities continued to search for her. Thursday’s team also included the Ventura County Fire Department and assistance from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Rivera was last seen Wednesday around 1 p.m. when she rented a boat.
Nearly four hours later when her three-hour rental time expired, another boater spotted the rented pontoon boat drifting in the water in an area called “The Narrows” located on the north end of the lake. Fillmore police said they received a call just before 4:40 p.m.
Rivera was nowhere in sight and her son, Josey, was found sleeping with a life vest on. He later told authorities he had been swimming with his mom and that she never got back on the boat.
Officials found her purse and an adult life jacket on that boat and said that her vehicle, a black Mercedes G Wagon, was found in the parking lot.
Some celebrities have asked for prayers on social media.
At approximately 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, officials with VCSO confirmed that they were searching for Rivera.
Ventura County officials launched a full-scale search and rescue operation at the lake with members of Ventura County Dive Teams. Rescue efforts were suspended when it was deemed too dangerous.
Rivera is known for her role as the sassy cheerleader and soulful singer Santana Lopez on the FOX television series “Glee,” which aired from 2009 to 2015.
Rivera was married to actor Ryan Dorsey from 2014 to 2018.
“Glee” cast members have faced tragedy over the years.
Cory Monteith died of an accidental overdose in 2013 and Mark Salling died of an apparent suicide in 2018.
FOX 11’s Kelli Johnson and Gigi Graciette contributed to this report.