Remember the spunky Latina cheerleader Santana Lopez from musical TV series Glee? She gave the show the attitude it desperately needed, and featured in other shows like “Devious Maids”: and “Step Up: High Water” Her name is Naya Rivera, and on Wednesday, July 8, she went for a boat ride and never returned.
Rivera went missing from Lake Piru in Southern California which has been described as dangerous. The 33-year-old went out on the water with her four-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey, who was found on the boat alone, hours later. Ever since then, social media has been filled with #PrayForNaya and #FindNaya.
The actress rented a boat to go on a fun mom and son outing. Just three hours after they embarked on their ride, another boater found a boat with her son sleeping on board. It took place in a part of the lake known as “The Narrows.” The lake is filled with debris on the bottom, and can go from six feet deep to a whopping forty feet deep.
Authorities were immediately contacted, and a search and rescue effort from an air team, a diving team and more has been underway since then. Naya’s son hasn’t offered up too much information except for the fact that they went swimming, and his mother never surfaced when he did.
Strangely enough, Josey was found wearing a life vest, and an adult life vest was found on the boat, indicating that Rivera didn’t have hers on. It makes sense that the child is being quiet about this – seeing and experiencing such a thing with someone as important as your mother is extremely traumatic, no matter what happened. The police described him as being in “good health” but we can’t imagine what him and his father are going through mentally.
Some people are speculating that Naya left on her own accord, or have malicious intentions towards hurting herself, while others think she just got unlucky in these murky waters. Many people are still holding onto hope that Naya Rivera will make it, but the optics aren’t looking good.
Almost 100 people were involved in the search party, including helicopters, boats, ATV vehicles, and people on the ground. On Thursday, they changed the status of the operation from search and rescue to search and recovering, with the Deputy making an announcement” “We’re presuming that an accident happened and we’re presuming she drowned in the lake. We hope for the best, we prepare for the worst.”
Naya’s decision to take her son out on the water midweek wasn’t necessarily a surprise, since it’s less crowded than weekend days. However, this is also why it took the boy so long to be found.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, in an attempt of transparency, released footage showing the conditions the search parties are dealing with, including cloudy and reduced visibility. They send a robotic device to the water which scans for objects resembling a body, but so far, the device has not located Rivera.
Many fans and celebrities alike are hoping for Naya Rivera’s safe return. The actor who played Principal Figgins on Glee said that he hopes this was all a “big joke and she’ll appear from somewhere laughing her heart out.” That would be a happy ending, but also a pretty messed up joke for her four-year-old son to experience.
Others are claiming a conspiracy theory known as the “Glee curse” which includes the mysterious death of Cory Monteith and Becca Tobin’s boyfriend, Mark Salling’s suicide, and Melissa Benoist’s abusive relationship with an unnamed fellow Glee cast member amongst other unfortunate tragedies. Other Twitter users mention that these “Glee curse” tweets are disrespectful towards the passed cast members.
Just four days ago, she posted an intimate closeup of her and her son spending time together. The image was clearly filled with love and featured the haunting caption “just the two of us.” We’re praying for a miracle and hope she has a speedy return to her family.