Lake Piru has been the site of a massive search effort over the last week as police have scoured the body of water for Naya Rivera, who went missing on July 9 after renting a boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey. Monday, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office announced that a body had been recovered from the water, but did not confirm if it was that of the Glee star, whom authorities said early on was believed to have drowned.
But where exactly is Lake Piru? The lake is actually a reservoir located in Los Padres National Forest and the Topatopa Mountains of Ventura County, California, that was created by the 1955 construction of the Santa Felicia Dam on Piru Creek. The lake's recreation area can be accessed from the nearby town of Piru and includes various areas for camping, boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking.
The lake has had many tragedies over the years, including a dozen drownings in the past 23 years, according to the Los Angeles Times. Chilly temperatures that can easily overwhelm swimmers, strong winds and murky waters contribute to the dangerous conditions, Douglas West, Lake Piru's former parks and recreation services manager, told the paper, as does the dense vegetation growing in the lake, which can ensnare swimmers.
Sgt. Shannon King told PEOPLE Monday ahead of the unidentified body's recovery that it was those same conditions making it difficult to search. "The ground is covered in trees and shrubs, so it's hampering our efforts for sure. So they have to go very slowly, so when they see the sonar vision coming back on their screen, the slower they go, the clearer it is," King said. "The faster they go, the more elongated it becomes and harder to tell."
Rivera was reported missing on July 9 when employees with the boat rental company discovered her son sleeping alone on the pontoon the two had checked out hours earlier while wearing his mother's life jacket. He reportedly told police his mother went into the water for a swim, but never returned to the boat with him.