A body found at a Southern Californian lake has been identified as Glee actress Naya Rivera, says the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
Five days after 33-year-old Rivera went missing at Lake Piru, bizarrely leaving her four-year-old son in a boat while she went for swim, a body was found floating in the northeast area of the lake.
“We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said in a press conference today, adding “there is no indication of foul play or that this was a suicide.”
“Based on the location where the body was found, physical characteristics of the body, clothing found on the body and the physical condition of the body, as well as the absence of any other persons reported missing in the area, we are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera.”
The body will be formerly identified via dental records.
Rivera had rented the pontoon boat on Wednesday afternoon at Lake Piruan hours drive from Los Angeles. Her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey was spotted by another person in their boat three hours after the actor had rented her boat, reported CBC Los Angeles.
The young boy allegedly told investigators that his mum had gone for a swim but never got back on the boat.
“We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey,” the sheriff said today. “It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particular in the afternoon,” the sheriff said. “We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared. The idea being perhaps that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself.”
The past few days has been heartbreaking as family members, including her ex-husband and Josey’s father Ryan Dorsey, visited the lake to try and find her. Dorsey looked absolutely distraught.
The lake itself has seen other people drown in the past. Rescue efforts included the lake’s uneven terrain being searched by dozens of divers with little visibility. They reportedly used sonar and robotic devices to comb through the bottom of the lake while helicopters and drones searched above.
Glee fans will have a hard time processing this news. In 2013, Cory Monteith who played jock Finn Hudson in the Fox series died of a drug overdose. Five years later, Mark Salling who played bad boy Noah “Puck” Puckerman took his own life. Salling and Rivera were once in a relationship.
Ironically, today is the seven year anniversary of Monteith’s death.
One quote I’d like to end this piece with is something Rivera tweeted. “No matter the year, circumstance or strife, everyday you’re alive is a blessing,” she wrote. “Make the most of today and every day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised.”
Tomorrow is never promised. Keep the Rivera and Dorsey family in your prayers today.