'Glee' Co-Star Heather Morris 'Holding on to Hope' for Naya Rivera After Search Turns to Recovery

Glee star Heather Morris is hoping and praying that her former co-star Naya Rivera is found after the actress went missing on Wednesday. Rivera went boating and swimming with her 4-year-old son Josey at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California. While Josey was found asleep in the boat Rivera rented, Rivera has not been found and is presumed dead, authorities said.

"It's so hard to wrap your head around something unknown," Morris, who is friends with Rivera, told E! News in a new statement Thursday evening. Morris is "holding on to hope that the rescuers will bring Naya home in a swift and speedy recovery." In moments like this, Rivera would remind Morris "that God has a plan for everything, and although we may not know that that plan is, we need to keep our chin up and stay strong," she said.

Morris previously shared a shorter message on her Instagram Story Thursday morning, asking fans for "all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us." She added, "We need your love and light." Morris played Brittany Pierce on Glee. Her character later married Rivera's, Santana Lopez. The two stars appeared in all six seasons of the Fox show.

Other members of the Glee family shared prayers on social media. Singer Demi Lovato, who guest-starred on Glee, shared a rare message on Twitter, calling on her fans to send positive energy for Rivera. "Come on, y'all! Let's put this energy out there: they will find her healthy and alive," Lovato wrote Thursday evening.

Leah Remini, who co-starred in Mad Families with Rivera, shared a photo with her co-star and said Rivera's disappearance is heartbreaking. "She made me laugh on days I didn't want to laugh, she reminded me to be appreciative of the work and the fun we were having just sitting around with each other," Remini wrote. "Praying for her, her little boy, her family."


Rivera was last seen Wednesday afternoon when she rented a boat at Lake Piru. When she did not return the boat within three hours, employees there started a search, but only found Josey asleep in the boat. Josey was wearing a life jacket, but an adult-sized life jacket was found in the boat. A witness called 911 and authorities searched until it got dark Wednesday. The search resumed Thursday morning.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department said Rivera is presumed dead, and their search and rescue mission is now a recovery effort. They released the 911 audio and a security camera video showing Rivera and her son getting into a boat by themselves. Deputies said Rivera was familiar navigating the lake and noted even experienced swimmers could get caught in rip currents or tangled in debris, reports CBS Los Angeles.