Naya Rivera: Family Members Join Search, Cast Members Defend Actions as Mystery of Missing Actress Intensifies

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Tragically, very little has changed in regard to the former Glee actress Naya Rivera, who remains missing and assumed dead after vanishing on a lake in Southern California last week.

Naya Rivera Waves

However, we do have an update on the situation; specifically, on the search of Lake Piru for the remains of Rivera.

As previously detailed, Naya rented a pontoon boat last Wednesday with her four-year old son, Josey.

A few hours later, the toddler was found by himself on board the vessel.

Naya Rivera in 2019

Eventually, he told authorities that his famous mother went underwater at one point -- and never returned.

Due to low visibility in the area and in the lake, authorities have since said Rivera may never be found.

Over the weekend, meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office told People Magazine that the search is continuing.

It has also been expanded to include those closest to Rivera.

Naya Rivera for Fox

"Naya's mother and brother have been at the lake every day since Naya disappeared," this source says.

"They have been in constant contact with the Sheriff's Office and involved in the search."

"On Saturday morning, they joined the search on a sheriff's boat."

TMZ also shared a photo of Naya's ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, sitting by himself alongside the lake.

Naya Rivera and Ryan Dorsey, Cuddle on the Couch

He split from the actress in 2018 after four years of marriage and shares custody of Josey, the couple's only child.

Along with the presence of these family members, authorities shared footage on Saturday from their extremely challengiing underwater search, which highlights the low visibility on the floor of the lake.

Although sonar equipment has picked up a handful underwater images, none of the objects detected are Rivera.

Naya Rivera on Insta

"Unfortunately, they did not locate Naya Rivera. They are still searching," Ventura County Sheriff's Office Captain Eric Buschow told reporters at a Friday press conference.

"We don’t know if she’s going to be found five minutes from now or five days from now."

Sgt. Shannon King then offered a further update on Sunday:

Naya Rivera with Josey

“In today’s search for Naya Rivera, cabins and outbuildings in the surrounding area will be checked once again, as well as the shoreline,” she said.

“This has been part of the ongoing search effort since her disappearance on Wednesday afternoon. Boat crews continue to scan the lake.”

There had been unfounded chatter around the Internet that Rivera could have been hiding out inside one of these cabins.

Naya Rivera, Son

However, despite combing the area around the perimeter, the prevailing wisdom - or operating theory - remains the same:

“There’s no evidence to say she left the water. It appears to be 100 percent just a tragic drowning,” King explained.

Emphasizing the conditions of Lake Piru, which have complicated the search, King said:

“it’s not like typical waters, which are crystal clear, this is murky, cold lake water.”

tweets about rivera

If Rivera really is gone, she'll be the ninth person to have drowned in this body of water since 1994.

At this juncture, the overriding sentiment is that Rivera drowned and has passed away.

Investigators will continue to search the area “at least through Tuesday," King told reporters yesterday.

Naya Rivera in 2019

As for what comes next? "There’s no talk of either one way or the other after Tuesday," he added.

"Tuesday’s sort of the projected date that we’re discussing, and we’re going to continue doing what we have been doing."

Rivera's former Glee co-stars have also been speaking out more recently on social media - in some cases after coming under scrutiny.

Amber Riley and Lea Michele

Amber Riley, for example, has defended some of the cast members’ silence on social media amid the disappearance.

"Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family," she wrote.

"No one owes anyone online a performance of grief. This is very real and devastating."

Heather Morris Image

"Focus on Naya and her family. Not us. We don’t matter right now," Amber added, powerfully.

Her point: It's a hard time for everyone involved, no doubt, but let's focus on the task at hand.

Heather Morris, for her part, also expressed confidence in the investigators as follows:

hm tweet

It's hard to have any real hope at this point, though - at least of Naya being found alive. Perhaps, though, there will be closure.

Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said on Friday that - although the events that led to Rivera's disappearance are "still a mystery" - there is no reason to suspect foul play or that Rivera was trying to kill herself.

"I think at some point in time we will find her," Donoghue said.

In summation, he said:

"I will say that we are hopeful to find her. We want to bring peace and closure to the Rivera family."

"This is a tragic event."

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