Search continues for Naya Rivera two days after being reported missing at Lake Piru

Actress Naya Rivera on the "Glee" panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con in San Diego, California. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

The search continued Friday for the multi-agency search-and-recovery teams attempting to find answers at Lake Piru in the disappearance of Valencia native and “Glee” actress Naya Rivera.

Rivera, 33, was reported missing Wednesday after a boat she rented was located on the lake with her 4-year-old son aboard and alone.

“We’re putting as many assets as we can out there, as many personnel,” said Capt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. “The visibility in the water is 1 to 2 feet … It’s very difficult. We’re still continuing the search, and we appreciate everybody’s cooperation.” 

Sheriff’s officials said Rivera is presumed drowned. Her son was found asleep on the boat late in the afternoon wearing a life vest. Rivera’s vest remained on board.

This is the recording from the security camera at the boat launch when Naya Rivera and her son arrived to rent a pontoon boat at Lake Piru. The video will show them departing the dock and travel north in the lake.

“Based on where the boat was found on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. in the north side of the lake, in an area called The Narrows, we believe because of the wind patterns and the currents that (the boat) may have drifted from the east side of the lake,” said Buschow. “So, anywhere between there and the north side of the lake are being searched very heavily.” 

Law enforcement officials were first made aware of the disappearance after an employee at the boat rental vendor had found the boat and boy floating in the northern end of the lake past the scheduled rental return time. 

In previous days, Buschow said Rivera was familiar with the lake and that swimming, which is what the son told investigators they were doing that afternoon on the lake, is a common activity in that portion of Lake Piru. 

Searchers come back to dock as thye cruise past a pontoon boat with caution tape attached as they conclued the search for the day for actress Naya Rivera at Lake Piru on Thursday, July 09, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

He also reported Thursday that investigators have obtained footage from the dock Rivera rented the boat from, and that it showed she and her son were the only people on board the craft.

The son has been with Rivera’s family since Wednesday, according to officials.

Since Rivera’s disappearance, multiple agencies from multiple counties have scoured the lake, using a mixture of dive teams, sonar technology, boats and aircraft in the effort to locate Rivera.

The actress, best known for her role as Santana Lopez on the Fox show “Glee,” graduated from Valencia High School in 2005 and attended College of the Canyons. 

In addition to her work on “Glee,” the actor, singer and model has had roles on “The Royal Family,” “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Even Stevens,” “8 Simple Rules” and “CSI: Miami.”

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