Members of the Glee cast joined Naya Rivera's family at the shore of Lake Piru after the Ventura County Sheriff's Department confirmed Monday that a body was discovered where she went missing. Authorities have not verified the identity of the body yet. Rivera has been missing since Wednesday afternoon when she rented a boat to go swimming at the reservoir with her 4-year-old son Josey.
California journalists shared a photo of Rivera's family with actors who starred on Glee with Rivera, all holding hands and looking out into the lake. The cast members there included Heather Morris, Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Kevin McHale. Hours before the photo was taken, the sheriff's department confirmed a body was found at the lake Monday morning, and "recovery is in progress." A news conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Rivera was last seen Wednesday afternoon when she rented a boat from the lake concession stand. When she was late to return the vessel, employees went out to search for her. They found only Josey safe and asleep in the boat, but Rivera could not be located. She was reported missing, and authorities searched for five days before finding a body.
The body was discovered just after 9 a.m. Monday morning in the northeastern part of the lake, Capt. Eric Buschow told the Los Angeles Times. He said the area was previously searched by divers, who were "literally crawling on hands and knees" at the bottom with ropes attached so they could easily get back to their boats because the visibility was so bad. "That gives you kind of an idea of what the conditions were like," he explained.
According to Buschow, the reason the body likely began floating was due to decomposition. "As those gases build up, eventually the body will float to the surface," he told the Times, calling it a "question of chemistry." Authorities do not have any evidence to suggest Rivera made it out of the water, although they did search cabins and outbuildings along the shoreline Sunday.
Although Glee ended in 2015, Rivera stayed close with colleagues. Morris even publicly offered to help with the search and assured fans the Ventura County Sheriff's Department was doing their best. "I have spoken to Sheriff Eric Buschow and rest assured they are using every single one of their resources to locate our Naya," Morris tweeted Sunday. "I have full confidence that they're doing everything they can, and probably more. We will hold off on the citizen search and rescue until we get the go."
Rivera was best known for playing Santana Lopez on all six seasons of Glee. She began working in Hollywood at a young age, starring in the 1991 series The Royal Family. She also starred on The Bernie Mac Show and Smart Guy before she was cast on Glee in 2009. Her last project was the YouTube series Step Up: High Water.