LOS ANGELES: A body recovered from a lake in California is that of missing Glee actress Naya Rivera, officials said on Monday (Jul 13).
“We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub told a news conference on the shore of Lake Piru near Los Angeles.
Rivera, 33, was presumed drowned after going missing on Wednesday. She had rented a boat on Lake Piru with her four-year-old son, Josey, who was found unharmed.
Her body was recovered early on Monday near the surface of the water, in an area that was 11m to 18m deep, and with heavy brush and trees underwater, Ayub said.
He said Rivera’s family had been informed and the body had been taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy and formal identification by dental records. “There is no indication this was foul play and no indication this was a suicide,” Ayub said.
Rivera’s son, discovered alone and sleeping, told authorities he and his mother had both gone swimming in the lake, a recreational reservoir about 80km north of downtown Los Angeles.
Ayub said it was not clear what happened but that Rivera’s son had told investigators his mother pushed him back into the boat but did not get back in herself.
Rivera was not wearing a life vest.
“Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family,” tweeted Jane Lynch, who played tough cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on the show.
Glee, a television musical drama about a high school choir, was one of the biggest pop culture hits 10 years ago but has seen its share of tragedy.
Actor Cory Monteith, who played football player Finn, died of a drug overdose in 2013, and Mark Salling, who played Puck, killed himself in 2018 after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.