Tragic news today, TV fans. Naya Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on Glee for 116 episodes, is missing and presumed dead. She disappeared while boating on Lake Piru with her four-year-old son.
Naya Rivera (33) rented a pontoon boat to enjoy a day on the lake with her young son, Josey. The pair went swimming, but according to the traumatized boy, his mother never made it back onto the boat.
Josey was found about three hours after they disembarked. Police received a report of the child alone on the boat. When they arrived, Josey was wearing a life vest. It seems that his mother, however, was not–authorities discovered an adult-sized vest on the boat.
Divers and helicopters joined the search but were forced to stop late Wednesday night. They resumed at dawn on Thursday.
Her last post on social media was a picture of herself cuddling her son. The caption read “just the two of us.”
Naya isn’t the only person to fall victim to Lake Piru’s icy waters. The reservoir is notorious for strong currents, big waves, and sudden gusts of wind.
In 2000, a 25-year-old man died just ten feet from shore after becoming overwhelmed in the lake. According to the Los Angeles Times, seven people drowned between 1994 and 2000.
The lake once again made headlines in 2008 when a man drowned after saving his 5-year-old daughter. She had fallen into the lake, and the father had only enough strength to get her on board with his other two young children before going under.
At this point, it’s hard not to wonder if the cast of Glee really is cursed. It began with Corey Monteith’s death in 2013, when the young star accidentally overdosed after privately battling drug addiction.
Glee incorporated his character’s death into the show, but the tragedies were only beginning. Mark Salling–who dated Naya Rivera for three years–was convicted of possessing a huge cache of graphic child pornography. Before he could go to prison, Salling killed himself.
The recent allegations of bullying against Lea Michelle almost seem quaint in comparison to that horror. Costar Samantha Ware described Lea’s diva ways but stopped short of accusing her of overt racism. Multiple other showbiz folks piped up with their own stories of Lea’s terrible behavior. She was quickly dropped as a spokesperson by HelloFresh.
Naya herself has not been without her share of controversy. In 2017, she was arrested for domestic battery against her then-husband, Ryan Dorsey. He declined to press charges, however.
Behind the scenes, the Glee crew lost two major members. Assistant director Jim Fuller died of heart failure just three months after Corey Montieth. The following year, Nancy Motes–who served as a production assistant–died by suicide. Motes accused her sister, the one and only Julia Roberts, of driving her into a “deep depression.”
While we hope that Naya Rivera will be found alive, law enforcement confirmed that they are searching for a “possible drowning victim.”