Actress Naya Rivera is missing after going on boating trip with her young son earlier this week, and authorities are fearing the worst.
Authorities began searching for Rivera, 33, on Wednesday. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office at first declined to identify by Rivera by name, instead referring to her a possible drowning victim. They have since confirmed her identity and have announced that Lake Piru, where Rivera went missing, was closed on Thursday so that search efforts involving dive teams can continue.
The former “Glee” star disappeared on Wednesday evening, CNN reports. Sheriff's Capt. Eric Buschow said at a press conference that Rivera and her 4-year-old son rented a boat at the lake that afternoon and were seen going out onto the water together; around three hours later, someone on another boat noticed a boat with a sleeping child alone in it and contacted authorities, who quickly launched a search.
The child was wearing a life vest but was found alone on the boat, which also contained an adult life vest, according to the outlet. The child told authorities he'd gone swimming with his mother but she didn't come out of the water. Authorities searched using helicopters and dive teams on Wednesday but had to eventually halt the search at night and resume efforts the following morning.
Buschow said on Wednesday that authorities suspect a “horrible accident” may have occurred and that Rivera may have drowned, Page Six reports.
“We’re going on the belief that she did go in the water and we have not been able to locate her,” he said. “So this may well be a case of drowning.”
Rivera’s son, Josey, has been placed in the car of relatives and is safe, authorities confirmed.
Authorities briefed the public again at a news conference Thursday morning, according to CNN.
"We hope for the best, we prepare for the worst," Deputy Chris Dyer said then.
Rivera’s most recent Instagram post is a photo of her and her son, shared alongside the caption, “Just the two of us.”
The actress, who began acting on screen as a child, rose to fame as one of the stars of the Fox hit “Glee,” appearing on the show from 2009 to 2015. Following news of her disappearance, many of her former co-stars took to social media to share their concern.
“Praying,” Harry Shum Jr. wrote on Twitter.
Heather Morris, who played Rivera’s long-time love interest on “Glee,” asked for prayers on her Instagram story, writing, “We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us. We need your love and light."
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