Naya Rivera Has Been Reported Missing After Her Son Was Found Alone on a Boat on a California Lake

Naya Rivera went missing at Lake Piru, Southern California, on Wednesday evening. Authorities were alerted after her 4-year-old son was found alone in a boat.

beverly hills, ca october 07 actress naya rivera at point honors los angeles 2017, benefiting point foundation, at the beverly hilton hotel on october 7, 2017 in beverly hills, california photo by rich polkgetty images for point honors
(Image credit: Rich Polk)
  • Naya Rivera went missing at Lake Piru, Southern California, on Wednesday evening, CNN reports.
  • Authorities were alerted after Rivera's 4-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat on the lake.
  • A spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said there was "no evidence of foul play at this point" at a press conference, adding, "this may well be a case of drowning."

Update, 7/9, 3:40 p.m.: Authorities announced Thursday afternoon that the search for Rivera has changed from a rescue mission to a recovery mission. The actress is presumed dead in the accidental drowning. "The goal is still to bring Ms. Rivera home to her family so they can have some closure," Deputy Chris Dyer said.

Original: Glee star Naya Rivera is missing after her 4-year-old son Josey was found sleeping alone in a boat on Lake Piru, Southern California, on Wednesday evening, CNN reports (opens in new tab). In a press conference, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Eric Buschow said there was "no evidence of foul play at this point," as the Guardian reports (opens in new tab), adding, "this may well be a case of drowning."

Rivera rented a boat with her son on Wednesday afternoon, according to CNN, and they went out onto the lake together. About three hours later, Josey was found asleep on the drifting boat by another boater, who alerted authorities. Rivera's son reportedly told investigators that he and his mother went swimming together, but Rivera did not get back on the boat. Josey was wearing a life vest, while an adult life vest was found on the boat alongside Rivera's ID. 

Search efforts were suspended on Wednesday night, and will be resumed "at first light" on Thursday morning, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said.

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Several of Rivera's Glee co-stars have responded to her disappearance on social media. Heather Morris, who played Brittany Pierce alongside Rivera's Santana Lopez, wrote on her Instagram story, "We need all the prayers we can to bring Naya back home to us. We need your love and light." Harry Shum Jr., who played Mike Chang, tweeted, "praying," while Demi Lovato, who guest-starred as Dani, wrote on her Instagram story, "Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound." Iqbal Theba, who played Principal Figgins, tweeted, "Oh God... mercy... please..." alongside an article about Rivera's disappearance.

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.