Naya Rivera Presumed Dead in Horrible Drowning Accident

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Naya Rivera is missing, and observers are fearing the worst, following a boat trip in California that resulted in the actress young son being discovered all alone on a lake.

Naya Rivera is Here

According to NBC4 L.A. reporter Robert Kovacik, a search for the former Glee star is underway as of Wednesday afternoon.

The 33-year-old and her son, Josey Dorsey, failed to return a pontoon boat to the facility from which they rented it.

The four-year-old was later found alone on the vehicle.


The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the situation to celebrity gossip publication Us Weekly, saying:

“[They] found her boat adrift with Naya’s 4-year-old son asleep on the boat and Naya was nowhere to be found."

Continued the spokesperson for this department in this same statement:

Naya Rivera Backstage

“This is an active investigation."

"It is believed that Naya and her son were swimming in the lake near the boat and as they were getting back into the boat, her son made it into the boat and Naya went under water and did not resurface.”

While Josey was found wearing a life vest, it is presumed Rivera was not donning one because an adult-sized version was found on the boat.

Naya Rivera at a Premiere

Rivera starred on the Fox hit series Glee as high school cheerleader and student Santana Lopez from 2009 through 2015.

She went on to appear on multiple episodes of Devious Maids and Step Up: High Water.

"This is considered to be a horrible accident," Ventura County Sheriff's Department officials told NBC Los Angeles.

Naya Rivera, Son

They added that no foul play is suspected at this time.

This said, a “large scale search and rescue operation” remains active, outlets report, with the search including drone teams, a sheriff’s boat and a dive team.

Ventura County Sheriff's Department Captain Eric Buschow, meanwhile, told The Los Angeles Times that the toddler is "in good health," adding:

"The family is going through a very traumatic time right now."

Naya Rivera and Josey

According to TMZ, Josey told police that his mother jumped in the water and never came back up.

In the wake of this potentially crushing news, Rivera's former Glee co-stars have taken to social media.

"We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us," Heather Morris wrote on Instagram. "We need your love and light."

Harry Shum Jr. tweeted, "Praying."

naya tweets

The day before she went missing, Rivera shared a photo of herself and her son on Instagram, captioning it "just the two of us."

On July 2, she used this same platform to remind fans that "tomorrow is not promised."

"No matter the year, circumstance, or strifes every day you're alive is a blessing," she wrote on Instagram.

just the two of us

Rivera added, in words that seem hauntingly prescient right now:

"Make the most of today and every day you are given."

"Tomorrow is not promised."

A mother of one, Rivera founded the gender-neutral kids’ lifestyle brand JOJO&IZZY and told People in September of 2018 that her motivation for her business venture was entirely her son.

Naya Rivera in The Big Apple

“First and foremost, everything I do is for Josey," Naya told this celebrity news publication back then.

"He’s at the best age! He’s talking so much and [he’s] so cool, kind and sweet," she said.

"Josey inspires me in so many ways that it felt natural to want to create this for him and I."

Naya Rivera with Josey

"Starting this company from the ground up is something I’m really, really proud of," she said, since her son is her world.

"I know that my son is proud of it too," she added.

"It’s a sweet bond that we share together."

Ryan Dorsey and Naya Rivera Photo

Naya was married to Josey's father, Ryan Dorsey, from 2014-2018. Before that, she was engaged to rapper Big Sean.

Since the news of Rivera's disappearance broke, the 32-year-old Sean “liked” a series of tweets about Rivera’s case.

Like everyone close to her, and all of her fans, he wants police to continue their search and is hoping for the best.

Naya Rivera and Big Sean Photo

In the years following the Glee's finale, multiple cast members have faced uncertain, controversial, even tragic fates.

Cory Monteith died in 2013 from a drug overdose.

Rivera's former co-star Mark Salling died by suicide in 2018 after being arrested on child pornography charges.

Even more recently, and of course, far less seriously, Lea Michele was widely criticized for her on-set behavior.

We will continue to keep Rivera and her loved ones in our thoughts, and keep you updated as this story develops.

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