A body found Monday morning in Lake Piru, about 56 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, was confirmed to be that of the “Glee” actress, TMZ reports.
Rivera, 33, went missing Wednesday after renting a pontoon on the lake, something the California native had done several times before.
Rescue parties have been searching for the 33-year-old actress after she vanished on California’s and was feared to have drowned six days ago.
33-year-old. Rivera vanished on Wednesday on Lake Piru after taking a pontoon boat out on the water with her four-year-old son Josey.
Josey was found alone, sleeping on the boat, by another group who noticed it drifting. Search and rescue teams have spent the last six days combing the lake for traces of the actress but struggled against poor visibility and the sheer size of the lake.
On Monday, the search focused on a cove where the actress had taken a photograph of Josey and sent it to a relative 90 minutes before he was found on the boat.
The actress grew up 20 miles from the lake and was familiar with it, police sources said last week. She thought of it as her ‘sanctuary’, despite it being known for rip currents and icy waters that can overpower swimmers.
actress Naya Rivera, 33, with her son Josey [photo], who was found aboard the vessel, asleep and wearing a life vest. The four-old told authorities his mom never got back in the boat after the two went swimming
Naya Rivera with her son Josey [photo], who was found aboard the vessel, asleep and wearing a life vest. The four-old told authorities his mom never got back in the boat after the two went swimming
Her son, Josey, was found aboard the vessel, asleep and wearing a life vest.
He told authorities his mom never got back in the boat after the two went swimming.
Divers discovered the body floating around 9:10 a.m. local time while searching for the actress in the northeastern portion of the lake where she was last seen, KTLA reported.
Divers and members of law enforcement gather during the search for actress Naya Rivera.“We had boat crews on the lake at first light this morning with divers, and they discovered the body floating,” Ventura County sheriff’s Capt. Eric Buschow told the outlet.
Buschow said the body was recovered near a cove, though it’s unclear whether it’s the one captured in a photo she sent a relative shortly before her disappearance.
“This is an area where we have been searching very hard because we believe it was where she was last seen in the water,” Buschow told the outlet.
Divers and members of law enforcement gather at Lake Piru during the search for actress Naya Rivera
Buschow said the medical examiner’s office was en route to the site.
“They will examine the body and perform an autopsy at a later time,” Buschow said.
Rivera’s family, who has been a constant presence during search efforts, was gathered at the dock Monday as authorities recovered the body, KTLA reported.
“It’s being really tragic and obviously rollercoaster of emotion for them, too. Finding out she’s missing then this day to day wait [of] not knowing,” Buschow said. “Hopefully this provides some level of closure.”
Rivera, who grew up in Valencia, about 20 miles from Lake Piru, launched her career as a child actress and model, appearing in national TV-commercials and a short-lived CBS sitcom.
Some of Rivera’s castmates from the show Glee gathered at the lake on Monday morning after authorities recovered a body. They’re seen held hands on the shore while waiting for confirmation of the identity
Naya Rivera [left] and fellow actress Heather Morris on the set of Glee where Rivera portrayed of mean girl Santana Lopez
She was best known for her portrayal of mean girl Santana Lopez on the Fox musical comedy-drama “Glee” from 2009 to 2015.
Her last post on social media was a photo of her kissing her son with the caption, “Just the two of us.”
In her 2016 memoir “Sorry Not Sorry,” she called Josey her “greatest success” — even launching a gender-neutral clothing line called JOJO&IZZY inspired by him.
“I will never do any better than him,” she wrote.
According to TMZ, Naya’s big break came in 2009 when she landed the role of Santana Lopez on the FOX hit series, “Glee.” She was a talented singer … signing with Columbia Records in 2011. That same year … she was part of the “Glee” ensemble nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
In 2013, she released a single, “Sorry,” featuring Big Sean, whom she dated and was briefly engaged to in 2013, before ending the relationship in 2014.
Naya later dated Josey’s father, actor Ryan Dorsey, marrying him in Cabo San Lucas in July 2014. They divorced in 2018 and had been sharing custody of Josey.
In an interview with People in 2018, she called her son her biggest inspiration.
“First and foremost, everything I do is for Josey. He’s at the best age! He’s talking so much and [he’s] so cool, kind and sweet,” she said.
“Starting this company from the ground up is something I’m really, really proud of. I know that my son is proud of it too. It’s a sweet bond that we share together.”
In her memoir, Rivera also opened up about having an abortion during a split from Josey’s father, Ryan Dorsey.
“I don’t think I ever emotionally healed from the abortion,” she wrote. “I think choosing to have an abortion is almost harder than choosing to have your own child, because you make that choice knowing, or at least suspecting, that many moments of your life will now be tinged with regret.”
The couple married in 2014 though their relationship was rocky. The actress had twice filed for divorce and was arrested in November 2017 on domestic battery charges for allegedly hitting Dorsey, 36, in the face.
Charges were later dropped, with Dorsey saying he was never injured by his then-wife.
Their divorce was finalized in June 2018.
She leaves behind younger siblings Mychal Rivera, who was drafted by the Oakland Raiders as a tight end in 2013, and Nickayla Rivera, a Wilhelmina model.
Rivera’s death is yet another in the string of tragedies to hit the “Glee” cast.
In 2013, Cory Monteith, who played lead character Finn Hudson, died of a drug overdose.
Rivera’s body was found June 13, the seventh anniversary of Monteith’s death.
Mark Salling, who starred as Noah “Puck” Puckerman, committed suicide in 2018, two months after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.
“Glee” assistant director Jim Fuller died in his sleep of suspected heart failure in 2013 and production assistant Nancy Motes committed suicide the following year.