Naya Rivera: Photo of 4-year-old son sent by actress to family hours before disappearance will help find her

The photo is time-stamped 90 minutes to two hours before the boy was found alone on a pontoon boat


                            Naya Rivera: Photo of 4-year-old son sent by actress to family hours before disappearance will help find her
(Getty Images)
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Before 'Glee' star Naya Rivera went missing on July 8, she sent one of her family members a picture of her four-year-old son, Josey, in front of a cove, which will be key to locating the missing actress, authorities said. 

Robert Inglis of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team told Us Weekly that the photo taken by the missing star before she went for a swim in Lake Piru, California, and never came back up, will be very resourceful in locating her whereabouts. The photo in question is time-stamped 90 minutes to two hours before the boy was found alone on a pontoon boat. “There was a picture sent to a family member that showed the boy on the boat by a cove,” Inglis told the magazine. “We found where that cove was.” 

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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. 

According to reports, when local police responded to a report of the child found alone on a boat around 4:48 pm on Wednesday, they found Rivera’s life jacket there. The star’s son Josey was handed over to the family while the search for Rivera continued. According to authorities, they are searching for a presumed drowning victim. While divers have warned that the search operation “could take several days."

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

Meanwhile, fans continue to hold onto hope that the actress can be found and returned safely to her family. A petition is circulating online, asking for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, who is in charge of the search, to expand its measures beyond just the lake and into nearby hospitals, local buildings, and anywhere else that has a chance of seeing Rivera turning up alive.

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"Naya Rivera is not a 'famous celebrity' she is a young woman with friends and family just like you. She deserves every single bit of effort to be found dead OR alive. do not let her 4-year-old son and parents without a mother and daughter because she is 'presumed' to be dead. The police tried to find Naya Rivera only for SIX hours and they’re renaming the mission to a 'recovery' mission? She could VERY much be alive. We need to check HOSPITALS for jane doe's, contacting all the buildings in the area to see if they've seen her! EXTEND THE SEARCH OUTSIDE OF THE LAKE," the petition said. 

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It seems like the authorities heard the pleas of the fans. "In today’s search for Naya Rivera, cabins and outbuildings in the surrounding area will be checked once again, as well as the shoreline. This has been part of the ongoing search effort since her disappearance on Wednesday afternoon. Boat crews continue to scan the lake," the Ventura County Sheriff wrote on Twitter on Sunday. 

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The last social media post of Rivera shows her spending good times with her son. The close-up picture that she last shared on Instagram with her two million followers showed her kissing her boy. “Just the two of us,” she wrote in the caption.

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