Naya Rivera’s body has been found following a five-day search for the 33-year-old mother and actress. Rivera’s remains were recovered from Lake Piru, authorities in Ventura County California confirmed at a news conference on Monday (July 13).
According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Rivera’s body was floating near the surface of the water without a life jacket, and looked as though it had been in the water for “several days.” An autopsy is pending.
The news conference has concluded. Sheriff Ayub has confirmed the body recovered at Lake Piru today was Naya Rivera. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and fans during this difficult time. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of her death.
— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 13, 2020
Rivera went missing last week after taking her 4-year-old son, Josey, out on a boat. The boy was found on the boat unharmed, and told authorities that he saw his mother disappear under the water. Rivera’s loved ones, including her parents and brother, were seen at the location over the weekend and had been there every day holding out hope, authorities said.
Rivera started out as a child actress and model appearing in the ’90s sitcom, The Royal Family, alongside Della Reese, Redd Foxx, Lorenz Tate, and Jackée Harry. She also booked guest spots on several hit shows including, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Girlfriends, Smart Guy, Baywatch, The Bernie Mac Show, and more.
Rivera starred on Glee from 2009 to 2015, before joining the cast of Devious Maids. Her last acting credit was on the drama series, Step Up, which originally aired on YouTube but was picked up by Starz.
The role as Santana Lopez on Glee allowed Rivera to show off her singing talents. She signed a record deal in 2011 and released her debut single, “Sorry” in 2013, featuring former fiance Big Sean. Rivera married actor Ryan Dorsey in 2014, with whom she welcomed her son, Josey, the following year. The former couple’s divorce was finalized in 2018.
A native of Southern California native, Rivera reportedly grew up about 20 miles from near Lake Piru and had been familiar with the area. Her body was discovered on the 7-year anniversary of the death of Glee cast mate, Cory Monteith, who passed away from a drug overdose in 2013.