Ventura County officials continue their search for actress and singer Naya Rivera, who was last seen after renting a boat from a Lake Piru employee Wednesday. The 33-year-old Glee star was boating with her son, 4-year-old Josey Hollis, who is now with family members. The search began after Rivera was late returning the boat, and only her son was found asleep on board when it was discovered three hours after leaving the dock.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Office resumed the search early Thursday morning, with the lake closed to the public during the day. Dive teams were also brought in to help, the department said. A few hours later, the department said on Twitter that more than 80 people are involved in the search, using helicopters, boats, ATVs and other group personnel. Specialized dive teams are also on their way from Los Angeles County, Tulare County and San Luis Obispo County. "We will keep you posted with any updates as we learn them. Our hearts and prayers go out the all of the family and friends of the Rivera family," the department said in a tweet.
Multiple teams of professional search & rescue personnel are actively searching Lake Piru for clues to the location of Naya Rivera. With over 80 people involved in the search right now, we are using helicopters, boats, ATV vehicles, and ground personnel to try and locate her. pic.twitter.com/o2bN5sQFms— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020
Rivera was last seen renting a pontoon boat to go out onto the lake with her son. The boat was discovered on the northern end of the late at about 6 p.m. local time Wednesday, with Josey sleeping aboard, officials said, reports KTLA. The boy was wearing his life jacket, while an adult-sized jacket was still aboard. Josey is "healthy and fine" and with his family, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chris Dyer told reporters Thursday.
Josey told investigators the two went swimming, but Rivera never got back to the boat. Authorities searched Wednesday night until it became dark. Investigators are not suspecting any foul play and believe this is an accident, Dyer said. Rivera is presumed dead, officials said, and their operations have shifted from a search to recover. According to Ryer, their goal is "to bring Miss Rivera home to her family so they can have some closure."
We have mutual aid for specialized dive teams en route from Los Angeles County, San Luis Obispo County, and Tulare County. We will keep you posted with any updates as we learn them. Our hearts and prayers go out the all of the family and friends of the Rivera family. #sheriffvc pic.twitter.com/ukmr48HXow— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020
Rivera is best known for playing Santana Lopez on Glee from 2009 to 2015. She recently starred in the YouTube series Step Up: High Water, which was slated to come back for a third season next year. Many of Rivera's colleagues have sent her family thoughts and prayers on social media, including Glee co-star Heather Morris. "We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us," Morris wrote on Instagram. "We need your love and light."