Naya Rivera dead, 'Glee' star's body recovered from Lake Piru five days after she went missing

'Happening now: A body has been found at Lake Piru this morning. The recovery is in progress. A news conference will take place at 2 pm at the lake,' the Ventura County Sheriff's office tweeted on Monday


                            Naya Rivera dead, 'Glee' star's body recovered from Lake Piru five days after she went missing
(Getty Images)
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'Glee' star Naya Rivera, who went missing on July 8, is now officially dead after a body was recovered from Lake Piru, California, on Monday, July 13, where the actress was last seen alive. 

"Happening now: A body has been found at Lake Piru this morning. The recovery is in progress. A news conference will take place at 2 pm at the lake," the Ventura County Sheriff's office tweeted on Monday. Although the authorities are yet to confirm the identity of the body recovered from the lake, TMZ has confirmed through their law enforcement sources that the corpse does belong to Rivera. 

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Rivera's four-year-old son was found alone on a rented boat on the lake, last week. According to the sheriff’s department, Rivera had rented the boat around 1 pm. Three hours later, a boater found the child by himself on the boat. The boater alerted the officials who instantly commenced a search for Rivera with the use of helicopters, drones and dive teams. The child, said to be unharmed, told investigators that he and his mother had been swimming but his mother never got back to the boat. At the time authorities suspected that Rivera might have drowned. 

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As days went by with no signs of Rivera's whereabouts, fans of the actress got anxious and started multiple petitions for the star's recovery as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Robert Inglis of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team told Us Weekly a few hours ago that he was confident that Rivera's body will be recovered from the lake. The authorities had even tracked down a photo that the star had taken of her son, Josey, just hours before she disappeared. Inglis said that photo was key to locating the body of Rivera.

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Naya Rivera attends the LA premiere of Roadside Attraction's "Judy" at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on September 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty Images)

“There was a picture sent to a family member that showed the boy on the boat by a cove,” Inglis said. “We found where that cove was.” The photo in question is time-stamped 90 minutes to two hours before the boy was found alone on a pontoon boat. Centered around the photo and the spot where the boat was found, the rescue teams started their search, before eventually expanding their area of work after failing to locate the 33-year-old. “We did send our dive members to those two locations and searched those extensively,” he told the outlet. As of Sunday night, Rivera was still missing. 

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He added that their efforts were being delayed due to the fact that the rescue team ran into dangerous conditions, with trees and brush in the lake which could have trapped them underwater if they were not careful. Also, visibility in the lake was so poor even during the daytime, that “if you have a watch and you hold it in front of your mask, you can’t even read the numbers," he said. 

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Rivera was born on January 12, 1987, in Santa Clarita, California. She began her acting career as a child actress, scoring her first job at age four on Eddie Murphy’s short-lived sitcom, 'The Royal Family.' In the next several years she picked up guest roles on shows like 'Family Matters', 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', 'Baywatch', and 'Smart Guy'.

Her first big break came in 2009 when she was cast as Santana Lopez on 'Glee'. Although Santana was essentially a supporting character in the first season of the show, the character quickly became a fan-favorite and was added to the main cast in Season 2. Rivera's character remained an integral part of the show till its last season aired in 2015. 

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“Honestly, I never thought I’d actually be playing a teen lesbian,” Rivera told the Los Angeles Times in 2011. “I didn’t think it was going to go this far. But I’m glad that it did because there have been a lot of fans who have expressed that they’ve been going through similar situations in their lives. I’ve heard from girls that are in high school, they’re 16, 17, and they’re like, ‘I came out to my mom,’ or ‘I came out to my friends, and thank you for helping me do that.’”

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