The search continues for Glee star Naya Rivera, who went missing after renting a boat with her 4-year-old son Josey in Ventura County, California, on Wednesday, July 7. Authorities spent Wednesday afternoon and all of Thursday searching for Rivera, who is now presumed to be dead; the local Sheriff’s Department is now treating her disappearance as a tragic drowning incident. Officials are worried they may never recover her body — and they’re also slowly releasing more information about the accident, including video footage of the last time Rivera and her son were seen together before she went missing.
Newly-released security footage shows Rivera parking her car in a mostly empty parking lot and helping Josey out of the vehicle before they headed to the dock. The duo, who were super close, had rented the pontoon boat for three hours, and the video footage shows them making their way to one of the boats with a few belongings in tow.
“We recovered video evidence from the dock that shows Ms. Rivera and her son being the only two people getting on board the boat,” Sergeant Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said in a press conference. “We’ve had no indication after talking to her son that Ms. Rivera made it to shore so the focus of our search efforts are in the water at this time.”
Donoghue also said that the area in Lake Piru where the boat was found may complicate efforts to recover Rivera’s body, if she was trapped under any currents or debris. “Particularly in that area, there is a lot of trees and plants and such that are under the water that can cause entanglements,” he explained. “It makes it unsafe for the divers and makes it more complicated for the search.
“We are searching so we can bring closure to the family and bring peace to the family but until then it is terrible, it is tragic,” he added, per People.
Rivera’s former costars have been using social media to pray for her safe return. “We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us,” Heather Morris, who costarred with Rivera on Glee, wrote. “We need your love and light.” Josey has since been reunited with his father, Ryan Dorsey, whom Rivera divorced in 2018.