The 33-year-old Glee star was reported missing after taking her son on a trip to Lake Piru in California
Naya Rivera has been reported missing after she took her four-year-old son on a boating trip and didn’t return, a local police department has confirmed to People magazine. Search and rescue efforts are continuing today, but the 33-year-old actress is presumed drowned, according to CBS.
According to the Fillmore Police Department, Rivera took her son, Josey Dorsey, on a trip to Lake Piru in Ventura County, California — about 50 miles north of Los Angeles. She rented a pontoon boat, and the two spent the day boating and swimming. When the boat wasn’t returned at the end of its three-hour rental window, staff went looking for it. They found the boat on the north side of the lake, with Josey sleeping in it alone. Rivera was not on board.
Police say Josey was wearing a life jacket when he was found, and an adult sized life jacket, presumably the one rental staff gave to Rivera, was on board the boat. They also said Josey was not harmed, and that he told police he and his mother were swimming, but that she never got back in the boat. It’s not clear how Josey got back in.
Police say a search-and-rescue operation began Wednesday with the use of helicopters, drones, and dive teams, but Rivera was not found. The car she used to drive herself and Josey to the lake was there, and was removed from the scene by police. The search was suspended when it got too dark, but will resume today.
“The missing person at Lake Puru has been identified as Naya Rivera, 33, of Los Angeles,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department wrote in a tweet just before 11 p.m. “SAR operation will continue at first light.”
— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020
Police also told NBC that no foul play is suspected.
“This is considered to be a horrible accident,” officials said.
#NayaRivera: “This is considered to be a horrible accident” @VENTURASHERIFF tells @NBCLA. This pontoon boat is similar to the one @NayaRivera rented with her four year old son. He was found asleep on the boat, wearing a life-vest. An adult life-vest was also found on board. pic.twitter.com/12lV5U6ryD
— Robert Kovacik (@RobertNBCLA) July 9, 2020
Police said on Wednesday night that they were working to reunite Josey with other family members. His father is actor Ryan Dorsey. He and Rivera divorced in 2018 and share custody of Josey, their only child.
The day before she went missing, Rivera tweeted a sweet photo of herself and her son, writing in the caption, “Just the two of us.”
just the two of us pic.twitter.com/wCunAlGJ1B
— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 7, 2020
Rivera is also known for the gender-neutral children’s lifestyle brand she founded. The company, called JOJO&IZZY, was inspired by Josey.
“First and foremost, everything I do is for Josey,” Rivera said in an interview about the brand in 2018. “Josey inspires me in so many ways that it felt natural to want to create this for him and I.”