Former Glee star Naya Rivera is missing in what authorities suspect was “a horrible accident.”
Police began a search for Rivera in Lake Piru in Southern California this Wednesday, July 8. According to local news affiliate Fox 11, the actress rented a boat that same day around 1pm and sailed onto the lake with her 4-year-old son. Authorities were contacted when the boat was found drifting in the lake later that afternoon.
Rivera’s son, Josey, was found alone asleep in the boat with a life jacket on. She was nowhere in sight.
— Ventura County Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020
A full-scale search-and-rescue operation has been launched in hopes of locating Rivera. There is no evidence of foul play, investigators told The Washington Post. Her son is said to be “in good health” and reunited with family.
The 33-year-old actress and ally to the LGBTQ community is best known for her role as Santana Lopez in Glee, Ryan Murphy’s star-studded musical series that ran for six chaotic seasons on Fox.
LGBTQ Glee fans know and love Santana for her unlikely romance with Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris), a fellow cheerleader at William McKinley High School. As Santana, Rivera portrayed a queer Latina on TV at a time when such representation was still a very tall order. She appeared in more than 100 episodes of the show. Most recently, she appeared on the series Step Up: High Water.
On social media, out celebrities like Demi Lovato and Andy Cohen shared messages of hope and love for Rivera and her family.
Demi Lovato shares message of hope after Naya Rivera goes missing:
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 9, 2020
Praying for Naya Rivera and her family. Can’t stop thinking of her poor son.
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) July 9, 2020
Just a week ago, Rivera tweeted, “no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you’re alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised.”
no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you're alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised pic.twitter.com/O4t7wdqA4k
— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 2, 2020