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

Just Posted

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

Sarah Boileau in her home studio on Monday, May 10. Boileau’s work will be on display at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville through May 30. (Submitted photo)
Beef to the ‘senior’ 30-plus taggers. You are too old to be doing these juvenile antics.
Beefs & Bouquets, May 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo city council has approved funding for an upgraded bridge crossing Millstone River in Bowen Park. (News Bulletin photo)
New bridge in Bowen Park part of City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plans

Replacement of Lenhart Bridge next year expected to cost $237,000

RCMP arrested a man in north Nanaimo who wound up empty-handed after allegedly failing at shoplifting, bank robbery and robbery at ATM machine. (File photo)
Man arrested in Nanaimo after failed attempts at bank robbery, ATM mugging, shoplifting

RCMP arrest suspect in office-supply store after ‘short-lived crime spree’

Beef to the ‘senior’ 30-plus taggers. You are too old to be doing these juvenile antics.
Beefs & Bouquets, May 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Ken Rutherford, left, and Rick Lord, organizers of the Nanaimo Model Railroad Show, receive honours from the National Model Railroad Association-Pacific Northwest Region for 40 years of dedication to the preservation and presentation of railroad history. (Photo courtesy Phyllis Rutherford)
Model railroaders honoured for dedication to rail, both life-sized and miniature

Longtime organizers of Nanaimo Model Railroad Show presented with heritage awards

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old Nanaimo bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Business owner Jeff Ross outside his shop Gold Silver Guy in Qualicum Beach on May 10. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Gold Silver Guy owner finds Qualicum shop in shambles after break-in and theft

RCMP investigating after door smashed, showcases shattered and inventory stolen

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)

Most Read