Glee Actor Naya Rivera Presumed Dead After She Went Missing While Boating With Her Son

Illustration for article titled Glee Actor Naya Rivera Presumed Dead After She Went Missing While Boating With Her Son
Image: David Livingston (Getty Images)

Naya Rivera, the 33-year-old actor best known for her role as cheerleader Santana Lopez on the hit show Glee, has gone missing. She was last seen on Lake Piru in Southern California’s Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, CBS LA reports.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office stated that Rivera rented a pontoon boat Wednesday afternoon to take her 4-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey out on the water. Three hours later, a person in another boat saw Josey napping in the boat Rivera rented, drifting, all by himself. That person alerted the authorities, who immediately began searching for Rivera using air and dive teams. “There’s a lot of challenges in a reservoir this size, at times with visibility,” Capt. Eric Buschow told press at a news conference. “I don’t have details yet as to the depth of the area where the boat was found or what conditions they’re encountering out there.” Josey told police that both he and his mom jumped into the water for a swim, but she didn’t appear to resurface.

According to TMZ, by Wednesday night authorities began “treating the case as a possible drowning,” and suspended their search until Thursday morning to wait for enough light to continue their rescue efforts. They believe Rivera may have died in the lake.


“We’re going on the belief that she did go in the water and we have not been able to locate her,” Buschow said. “So this may well be a case of drowning.”

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.

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This is fucking devastating, and punches me in the gut as someone who grew up on a lake and saw my fair share of accidents. I hope that they have trained child psychologists who can gently and effectively question her son to get a few more details. Did she dive in the water head first? Could have hit her head and drowned almost immediately. Did she jump in feet first? Could have gotten caught in something under the surface — which is what makes me the most sick to think about, her struggling underwater and not only the panic of that kind of slow, tortuous death, but knowing your son is in the water alone without you. I’m sobbing thinking about a mother’s last moments in panic, worrying about her son. The only silver lining is that he was able to get back into the boat safely and there are still good, decent people in the world who noticed and called authorities. Ugh, I am so sad right now.