Since Glee star Naya Rivera was declared missing on July 9, authorities have looked to her four-year-old, Josey to help guide their investigation after he was found sleeping and alone on a boat in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California this past Wednesday. A day later, “investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said. On Friday, in a conversation with PEOPLE, Sgt. Kevin Donoghue gave an update on the Glee star’s case. “We interviewed her son and there was nothing that we learned from her son that would have suggested that this was suicide. Everything that we’ve learned so far leads to this being some sort of water recreational accident,” he said.
Donoghue clarified that the team still has a long way to go before being able to provide concrete answers amid this tragedy. “To say definitively what actually happened, we really can’t say. We just don’t know, it’s a mystery. ” We’re still investigating, we’re still searching. We’re trying to uncover clues as we go. But so far, we really don’t have a lot of information to make any guesses as to what could have happened,” he continued.
The Ventura Country Sheriff’s Office later released footage of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that the team sent down Lake Piru to find Rivera’s body.” Unfortunately, they did not locate Naya Rivera. They are still searching,” said the office’s Captain Eric Buschow in a press conference on Friday and explained that this is a ‘difficult’ situation because, “we don’t know if she’s going to be found five minutes from now or five days from now.”
Josey confirmed to investigators that his mom didn’t get back in the boat, but it remains unclear whether the little boy climbed back to safety himself or with Rivera’s help. “I know she was in the water. I don’t know if she helped him back on the boat,” Donoghue said.
Since the heartbreaking tragedy, Josey has been spending time with his father, Ryan Dorsey, and appears to be in “good health.” “My investigators are speaking to the family. They’re saying he’s doing as good as he can under these circumstances,” Donoghue continued. “Given his age, I don’t think he fully understands everything that’s going on. But his family, their family, they’re heartbroken. This is an absolute tragedy.”
At such a young age, amid the traumatic loss and unethical harassment from the paparazzi, the four-year-old needs space to grieve. We see through old photos how strong their parent-child relationship was and we send him and the family our condolences during this incredibly difficult time.