Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

Body found in Lake Piru in search for missing 'Glee' actress Naya Rivera

The 'Glee' star disappeared during a boating trip with her young son on Thursday

A body was found in Lake Piru on Monday morning in the search for missing actress Naya Rivera.

"We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera," said Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub on Monday.

A search mission has been ongoing since Thursday after the Glee star disappeared during a boating trip with her young son at the California reservoir.

The identification was made "based on the location where the body was found, physical characteristics of the body, clothing found on the body and the physical condition of the body," said Sheriff Ayub.

The body will be sent to a medical examiner where dental records will be used to confirm the identity and an autopsy will be conducted.

Police said the body was found near the surface of the Northeastern portion of the lake, where the depth is 10 to 18 metres deep with heavy brush and trees at the bottom of the lake.

There was no indication of foul play or suicide, police confirmed.

Sheriff Ayub said it is possible the unanchored boat drifted away while the pair were swimming and "she mustered enough energy to get her son back on to the boat, but not enough to save herself."

Ventura County deployed dozens of personnel, watercrafts, helicopters and drones in its "methodical and comprehensive search," Sheriff Ayub said.

Naya Rivera and son Josey Hollis attend the premiere of "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" in Westwood, California. AFP / Getty Images
Naya Rivera and son Josey Hollis attend the premiere of "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" in Westwood, California. AFP / Getty Images

The alarm was first raised after Rivera’s son was found alone in a boat three hours after the pair first went out onto the lake. The police had immediately ordered an aerial search and deployed a dive team to the site.

An extensive search was launched, with her son telling police he saw his mother disappeared beneath the water’s surface after she boosted him on to the boat. An adult-sized life jacket was found on board the boat.

Over the weekend, police said they believed the actress had drowned in a “tragic accident” and that they would resume the search on Monday morning using divers and sonar equipment.

Rivera played Santana Lopez on the long-running US sitcom Glee, which ran from 2009 to 2015.

Updated: July 14, 2020 01:36 AM

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