Former Glee actors Amber Riley and Kevin McHale are asking fans to show respect for Naya Rivera's family while authorities search for her. Rivera has been missing since Wednesday afternoon, when she rented a boat to go swimming on Lake Piru in Ventura, California with her 4-year-old son Josey. Rivera's two former co-stars reminded fans how serious the situation is and to stop judging for staying silent on social media.
Riley, who starred as Mercedes Jones on Glee, refrained from publicly commenting on Rivera's disappearance but was hounded by fans who wanted her to say something. On Sunday, she broke her silence, telling fans to "show some" respect. "All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family," Riley wrote. "No one owes anyone online a performance of grief. This is very real and devastating. Focus on Naya and her family. Not us. We don’t matter right now."
I cannot begin to understand what Naya’s family must be feeling. I know the rest of us are completely shattered, but not without hope. Please respect her family & their privacy in this moment. Please refrain from judging those who don’t show their pain on social media. ♥️ https://t.co/DXsUj3qdCh— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 12, 2020
McHale, who played Artie Abrams, shared Riley's comments and echoed her sentiments. "I cannot begin to understand what Naya's family must be feeling," he wrote, adding that Rivera's co-stars are "completely shattered" but remain hopeful. "Please respect her family & their privacy in this moment. Please refrain from judging those who don’t show their pain on social media," McHale continued, adding a heart emoji.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department continued their search on Lake Piru for a fifth day Sunday. Rivera was last seen when she rented a boat at the lake concession stand Wednesday afternoon. When she did not return the boat three hours later, employees searched for it and only found Josey asleep inside. Authorities believe Rivera drowned and have ruled out foul play. Surveillance footage shows only Rivera and her son getting into the boat.
Sunday's operations included searches of the cabins and outbuildings surrounding the lake to see if anything changed. Sgt. Shannon King told PEOPLE the cabins were unoccupied. She said they looked at the cabins again because social media users kept asking the to check.
Unfortunately, authorities have seen no evidence that Rivera left the water. "It appears to be 100 percent just a tragic drowning," King told PEOPLE. The search for Rivera has also been hampered by the tough conditions of Lake Piru, which includes murky waters and underwater trees and shrubs. "It’s not like typical waters, which are crystal clear, this is murky, cold lake water," King added.
Rivera is best known for playing Santana Lopez on Glee, which aired from 2009 to 2015. She also starred in Lifetime's Devious Maids and the horror movie At The Devil's Door. She has a recurring role in the YouTube series Step Up: High Water.