The body of Glee star Naya Rivera has been found at a southern California lake, authorities say.

Ventura County Sheriff’s officials confirmed at an Monday afternoon news conference that the body that search crews found floating in the northeast corner of Lake Piru earlier in the day was the 33-year-old Rivera.

The discovery came five days after Rivera disappeared on Lake Piru, where her son was found July 8 asleep and alone on a rented pontoon boat.

Authorities said the following day they believed Rivera had drowned and they had shifted to working to find her body rather than find her alive.

Rivera’s family was notified of the discovery and an autopsy would be conducted, Sheriff’s Captain Eric Buschow said.

The lake an hour’s drive from Los Angeles was searched by dozens of divers, with help from sonar and robotic devices combing the bottom and helicopters and drones searching above.

Rivera played singing cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox musical-comedy Glee.


She is the third major cast member from the show to die in their 30s.

The confirmation of her death comes seven years to the day after co-star Cory Monteith died at 31 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin, with the series losing one of its leads while it was still on the air.

Another co-star, Mark Salling, who Rivera dated at one point, took his life in 2018 at age 35 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Rivera had experience boating on the lake in Los Padres National Forest, authorities said.

Surveillance video shows Rivera and her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, leaving on the rented boat.

When the boat failed to return, its vendor found the vessel drifting in the northern end of the lake late on Wednesday afternoon with the boy asleep on board, about three hours after it was first taken out.


The boy told investigators he and his mother had been swimming and he got back into the boat but she did not, according to a sheriff’s office statement.

The boy was wearing a life vest, and another life jacket was found in the boat along with Rivera’s purse and identification.

The boy, Rivera’s son from her marriage to actor Ryan Dorsey, was safe and healthy and with family members, authorities said.

His parents divorced in 2018 after nearly four years of marriage.

The most recent tweet on Rivera’s account, from July 7, read “just the two of us” along with a photo of her and her son.

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