Glee actress Naya Rivera has been confirmed dead after she went missing on Southern California's Lake Piru Wednesday afternoon. According to TMZ, law enforcement sources have confirmed that the body recovered from the lake on Monday is that of the 33-year-old. Ventura County officials said on Monday that a body has been found at the lake but have not publicly confirmed it to be Rivera. A press conference is scheduled to take place later this afternoon.
Rivera, who portrayed Santana Lopez on the Fox musical dramedy, had gone missing Wednesday afternoon after renting a pontoon boat with her 4-year-old son Josey. At approximately 4:40 p.m. local time, just a little more than three hours after she had last been seen, Fillmore police received a call reporting that another boater had spotted the craft floating adrift in the lake, which is located approximately 56 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The actress' son, who was discovered asleep but unharmed aboard the vessel, told authorities that he and his mother had gone swimming. Rivera, who was not believed to have been wearing a life vest, never returned to the boat, and her vehicle was found still sitting in the rental company's parking lot.
Shortly after receiving the report, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department launched a search and rescue operation, with teams searching by both land and air. Suspended overnight due to darkness, the search resumed Thursday morning, with dive teams from the region brought in to assist. The lake was closed to the public. At the time, the sheriff's department said Rivera was "presumed dead" and was a possible drowning victim.
As the search for the actress continued, both fans and her former co-stars took to social media to react to her disappearance, praying for her safe return. Heather Morris, her former Glee co-star, took to her Instagram Story, writing, "we need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us. We need your love and light." Demi Lovato also reacted to the news, asking her followers to "please pray for [Naya Rivera] to be found safe and sound."
Rivera was best known for portraying Santana Lopez on Glee. She portrayed the character beginning with the show’s inception in 2009, appearing in almost every episode until the series finale in 2015. Her other credits include Donna on The Bernie Mac Show, Gwendolyn on Family Matters, Hillary Winston on The Royal Family, and Collette Jones on Step Up: High Water. She also starred in the comedy film The Master of Disguise.