Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son, Josey, can be seen launching a rented boat into Lake Piru before her disappearance in security camera footage released Thursday evening by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. In the footage, the Glee actress can be seen helping her son out of the car in the dock's nearly empty parking lot. Rivera, 33, then approaches what the boat rental stand before boarding one of the pontoon boats and launching on the lake.
This appears to be the last time Rivera was seen, as she was reported missing Wednesday night when staff at the boat rental business discovered Josey asleep on the boat after the vessel was noticed as overdue for return, authorities said. The little boy, who has been deemed "in good health," is now with father Ryan Dorsey, but told police that his mom did not get back into the boat after they had been swimming in the lake.
Rivera is now presumed dead, with Ventura County Sheriff Deputy Chris Dyer saying at a news conference Thursday, "We're presuming that an accident happened and we're presuming she drowned in the lake." With the mission shifting from rescue to recovery, "the goal is still to bring Miss Rivera home to her family so they can have some closure,"
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue added during the Thursday press conference that first responders "don't know" if they will be able to recover her body. "If the body is entangled in something underneath the water, it may never come up," he said, noting that rescue efforts are "complicated" due to poor visibility. "There's a lot of trees and plants and such that are under the water that can cause entanglement," he said, which "makes it unsafe for divers and a complicated search."
Donoghue also revealed that Rivera's purse and ID were found on the boat with her life vest, although it was unclear if the vest was simply an extra. "We don't know if that just meant it was hers or if that was an extra life vest on the boat," he said. "But seemingly, if she was somehow incapacitated and she had a life jacket, we would find her floating. Clearly, she is not."
As Rivera's fans hold out hope for the actress to be found alive, several of her co-stars have asked for prayers, including Glee co-star Heather Morris. "We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us," she wrote on her Instagram Story Wednesday after the news broke, adding "we need your love and light." Demi Lovato, who had a guest appearance on Glee, meanwhile asked her followers to "please pray for [Naya Rivera] to be found safe and sound."