The search for missing actress Naya Rivera in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California entered its third day on Friday. Late Thursday, the Ventura Country Sheriff's Department released the 911 call from a witness reporting the former Glee star missing. The woman said a group of people found the boat Rivera rented and her 4-year-old son Josey inside, but they could not find Rivera. Officials said the 33-year-old actress is presumed dead.
In the brief message, a woman told the 911 dispatcher she was reporting a "missing person" at the lake. The woman's husband was among the people who found Rivera's boat and he wanted her just to call and report the emergency as soon as possible. She said the mother of the child was "nowhere to be found" and said she would call back with more information. The dispatcher entered in the little information the woman gave. The woman misidentified Josey as a girl, likely due to his long hair.
This is an updated link to the 911 recording reporting Naya Rivera as a missing person. https://t.co/kxIMN5HVfS— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020
Rivera has not been seen since Wednesday afternoon when she rented the boat from an attendant at Lake Piru. After she failed to return the boat within three hours, employees at the lake began searching for her. Sheriff's deputies received the 911 call at about 6 p.m, reports KTLA. "The concession workers that are responsible for renting the boats went out looking for her and that’s when they found the boat and placed a call to 911," Sgt. Kevin Donoghue explained in a Thursday press conference.
The sheriff's department also released surveillance footage showing Rivera and Josey getting into a boat, which she drove to the northern part of the lake. No other people got into the boat and authorities believe no foul play was involved. When the boat was found, Josey was asleep inside and wearing a life jacket. An adult-sized life jacket was found in the boat. Josey is "healthy and fine" and with members of his family, authorities said.
Today’s search at Lake Piru involves the use of sophisticated sonar equipment in the effort to locate Naya Rivera. We are being assisted by @TulareSheriff @LASDHQ and @USCGLosAngeles There will be a media update at 3 pm.— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 10, 2020
The search for Rivera is now a recovery mission. The part of the lake where the boat was found is almost 30 feet deep. The murky waters and underwater plants have made it difficult for divers to find Rivera. "If the body is entangled on something beneath the water, it may never come back up," Donoghue explained. He said Rivera did have experience boating in the lake.
Rivera's disappearance has inspired a Change.org petition to get authorities to post more visible warnings at Lake Piru, located in the Los Padres National Forest and about 50 miles north of Los Angeles, notes CBS LA. The petition now has over 21,000 signatures. "Naya Rivera is not the first, nor the last to go missing at Lake Piru," the petition reads. "Lake Piru is a very deep lake with very bad whirlpools, people have been asking for years for the city to put up warning signs for swimmers."