Search for body of Glee star Naya Rivera continues on Californian lake as co-stars pay tribute
Friends and co-stars have paid tribute to Glee actress Naya Rivera, who authorities believe drowned in a Southern California lake yesterday.
A search has resumed a day after her 4-year-old son was found alone in a rented boat on Lake Piru 90 kilometres northwest of Los Angeles in the Los Padres National Forest.
“Investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident,“ a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office statement said.
Singer Demi Lovato, who played a Rivera love interest in a guest stint on the show, posted an Instagram story Thursday morning that showed a candle with the text, “Please pray for (at)nayarivera to be found safe and sound.”
Other co-stars were expressing similar sentiments on social media.
“We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us,” Heather Morris said on Instagram.
“We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us,” fellow Glee cast member Heather Morris said on Instagram.
Another Glee cast member Harry Shum Jr simply wrote: "Praying" on Twitter.
Jackee Harry, who starred in the sitcom The Royal Family with Rivera when she was a child, said on Twitter that “I’ve watched her career blossom ever since. Please God, don’t cut this life short.”
Actor Iqbal Theba played Principal Figgins on Glee. He wrote on Twitter “I am hoping against hope... this was all a big joke.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said that the effort had shifted from an attempt to rescue the 33-year-old to an attempt to recover her body.
Dozens of people, most of them divers, with help from helicopters, drones and all-terrain vehicles were involved in the search on Lake Piru.
In the area where the boat was found, the water was about 30 feet (9 meters) deep, authorities said.
Murky waters heavy with vegetation made it difficult for divers to see more than about a foot ahead of them.
“In the lake, the visibility is terrible,” Donoghue said.
He said the plants proving challenging for divers may have been a problem for Rivera herself.
“If the body is entangled on something beneath the water, it may never come back up,” Donoghue said.
It appeared increasingly likely she would become the third major cast member from the show to die in their 30s.
Co-star Mark Salling, who Rivera dated at one point, killed himself in 2018 at age 35 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
Cory Monteith, one of the show’s leads, died at 31 in 2013 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.