Glee star Naya Rivera has been presumed drowned in a Southern California lake after search for her continued a day after her 4-year-old son was found alone on the rented boat.
On Thursday, Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Donoghue stated that they are switching from ‘rescue operation’ to ‘search and recovery operation’. According to reports, the actor is now presumed dead while encountering an accident underwater.
“Investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident,” the Sheriff in his official statement said.
The officer further added that there is no proof the actor made it to the shore. “In the lake, the visibility is terrible,” Donoghue said. He said the plants proving challenging for divers may have been a problem for Naya Rivera herself.
The sergeant also ruled out any possibilities of foul play in the incident. Naya’s personal belongings were recovered from the boat and her car was also found at the scene. All these proof added up to the fact that the actor may have drowned without a life jacket in the lake.
A team of 80 professionals has been carrying out the search and rescue operation actively since Wednesday, said Officer Chris Dyes. Officials are looking for Naya’s body using He said they are helicopters, drones, and boats as well a ground team. The aim right now is to give her family closure, he said.
The incident came to light when the vendor who rented the boat to Rivera and her son found the boy
alone and sleeping with a life vest on. According to the 4-year-old, the two went swimming and he got back on the boat, but “his mom never made it out of the water.”
Hours before the incident, Rivera posted a tweet from her official account on Tuesday, that read,
“just the two of us” along with a photo of her and her son.
just the two of us pic.twitter.com/wCunAlGJ1B
— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 7, 2020
Rivera played Santana Lopez, in 113 episodes of the popular musical comedy show Glee, which aired from 2009 until 2005. In light of the current accident, it appears likely that she would become the third cast member from the show to die in her 30s.
Previously, Mark Salling killed himself in 2018 at the age of 35 after he pleaded to child pornography charges. Another co-star Cory Monteith died at 31 in 2013 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.
Fans and friends of Naya from the industry have been praying for her safe return on social media.