A body was found Monday at a Southern California lake during the search for Glee star Naya Rivera, authorities said.
The body was discovered five days after the 33-year-old Rivera disappeared on Lake Piru, where her son was found July 8 alone a few hours after the two rented a boat, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities would not immediately say if the person found was Rivera but said the day after she disappeared that they believed she drowned in the lake northwest of Los Angeles. A 2 p.m. PT news conference was scheduled.
The lake, an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, was searched by dozens of divers working in waters with little visibility, with help above from helicopters, drones and all-terrain vehicles.
Search crews made the discovery in the northeast area of the lake, and the body would be flown 64 kilometres to the coroner’s office in Ventura, said Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Buschow.
Rivera played singing cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox musical-comedy Glee.
Her family has been notified of the discovery, said Buschow.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like for her parents, her family,” he said. “It takes an emotional toll on the search teams, too.”
Son found on drifting boat
The actor 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. He 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. Rivera is believed to have drowned “in what appears to be a tragic accident,” the statement said.
The boy, Rivera’s son from her marriage to actor Ryan Dorsey, was safe and healthy and with family members, authorities said. The couple finalized their divorce in June 2018 after nearly four years of marriage.
The most recent tweet on Rivera’s account, from July 7, read “just the two of us” along with a photo of her and her son.