Former Glee star Naya Rivera is missing and feared dead after her son was found alone on a boat in Lake Piru

Naya Rivera: Former Glee star is missing and feared dead

Glee star Naya Rivera, known for playing the sultry, sassy cheerleader-turned-singer Santana Lopez, was reported missing Wednesday night (July 8) and, authorities said, feared dead.

Rivera, 33, who starred across all six seasons of the Fox network series, rented a boat in Lake Piru, California, with her four-year-old son Wednesday afternoon, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff’s office said that it was searching for a “possible drowning victim” in the lake before confirming that the missing person was Rivera – search and rescue will be deployed again Thursday morning, it said in a tweet, after divers and helicopters searched the reservoir till nightfall.

It’s the latest tragedy to devastate the 2009 musical comedy-drama series years-on since the campy spin on the typical teen soap came to an end some five years ago.

One of its main stars, Cory Monteith, died following a drug overdose in 2013 during its run. After the show stopped airing, Mark Saling was later arrested and charged for child pornography before dying by apparent suicide in 2018 and, in recent weeks, star Lea Michele has been roiled by racist accusations.

Glee star and her son, four, rented a boat at 1pm. Four hours later, she vanished. 

A sheriff office spokesperson told The Ventura County Star that Rivera rented a boat with her son, Josey Hollis, at around 1pm. Hours later, a boater found Hollis by the boat at 4pm, asleep and alone.

“He is safe with family members,” the spokesperson, Eric Buschow, told the newspaper.
Law enforcement found Rivera’s lift jacket on the boat, believing that she did “go in the lake” to go swimming which, they added, “may well be a case of drowning. Her car was found nearby by the body of water, around 60 miles north-west of downtown Los Angeles.

Just a day before, Rivera had tweeted a photograph of herself and Hollis, “just the two of us,” she captioned the post across social media. Rivera married actor Ryan Dorsey in 2014 before giving birth to their son the following year.

Demi Lovato: ‘Please pray for Naya Rivera to be found safe and sound.’

The couple split in 2018, bringing an end to a troubled marriage – the actor was once accused of domestic battery against him in 2017. Dorsey later agreed not to pursue charges as part of a temporary custody agreement.

Musician Demi Lovato, who briefly starred on the Ryan Murphy series as a love interest for Lopez, took to an Instagram story Wednesday night to ask her 87 million followers to “pray for Naya Rivera to be found safe and sound”.


This call was amplified by Heather Morris – who played Brittany Pierce and Lopez’s wife – who rallied: “We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back to us… we need your love and light.”