(PAGE 6) “Glee” actress Naya Rivera is presumed dead after she went missing from a boat at a California lake during an outing with her 4-year-old son.
Rivera, 33, had rented the pontoon boat around 1 p.m. Wednesday with her 4-year-old son, Josey, at Lake Piru, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Eric Buschow.
About three hours later, another boater found Josey alone and sleeping on the vessel. The boy was wearing a life vest but Rivera wasn’t. An adult vest was found on the boat.
“We’re going on the belief that she did go in the water and we have not been able to locate her,” Buschow told reporters late Wednesday. “So this may well be a case of drowning.”
Authorities launched a search for Rivera — including dive teams, a helicopter and search drone — but it was suspended overnight.
It was set to resume Thursday morning “at first light,” officials said.
Foul play is not suspected.
“This is considered to be a horrible accident,” Buschow said.
“We don’t have any witnesses that saw him in the water,” Buschow said. “The 3-year-old girl said she had been swimming with her mother and she got back into the boat and her mom didn’t.”
Asked whether Rivera was in distress at the time, Buschow said, “You can imagine it’s somewhat challenging interviewing a 3-year-old.”
“We’re limited. There’s a three-hour period of time from when the boat left the dock to when the girl was discovered,” he added. “Exactly what transpired during that time, other than her saying she and her mom were in the water swimming, we don’t exactly know what happened.”
Josey told authorities that his mother had jumped in the water but didn’t come back up, TMZ reported.
Buschow said Josey is now “safe with family members.”
Rivera’s purse and wallet, as well as some food, were found on the boat. Her Mercedes G-Wagon was located in a nearby parking lot.
The actress was born and raised in Valencia, California, about 20 miles from Lake Piru.
She played mean girl Santana Lopez on the Fox drama “Glee” from 2009 to 2015.
The show, while cheerful and upbeat from viewers’ perspective, has been the source of behind-the-scenes drama.
On Tuesday, the actress posted a picture on Instagram of herself and Josey kissing.
“Just the two of us,” she wrote.
Josey’s father is “Ray Donovan” actor Ryan Dorsey. He and Rivera were married for four years before divorcing in 2018.