Naya Rivera could have been 'incapacitated' by accident before drowning as California cops rule out suicide
The authorities have revealed that Naya Rivera could 'have been incapacitated' prior to drowning. The 'Glee' star has been presumed dead since she disappeared on July 8 after going boating and swimming with her young son Josey in Lake Piru, California.
Josey was found safe and asleep on the boat, the police said. The child had told the authorities that his mother had gone swimming in the water but had not climbed back onto the boat.
According to Ventura County Sheriff's Office Senior Deputy Miguel Gonzalez said that the police are not ruling out Naya hitting her head before drowning. While speaking to PA news agency, he said, "Unfortunately, until the body is recovered we definitely won’t know what actually happened with her, whether it be something medically or if she did have any trauma prior to going down beneath the water."
"And until we recover the body we probably won’t find the answers to those questions. As with any investigation, the coroner will examine those theories and examine toxicology and all the other exams they do to determine exactly the cause of death," Gonzalez added.
The authorities have also ruled out suicide saying that the disappearance and subsequent death appears to be a 'tragic accident'. Sgt. Kevin Donoghue spoke to PEOPLE and said, "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. To say definitively what actually happened, we really can’t say. We just don’t know, it’s a mystery," Donoghue shared.
"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.
We had earlier reported that Lake Piru, which is said to be notorious for drownings given its dangerous conditions. According to the Los Angeles Times, around seven people had drowned between 1994 and 2000.
2/2 Here’s an example of the underwater visibility at a 30-foot depth in Lake Piru. pic.twitter.com/YGNNUdmPQ4— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 11, 2020
The parks and recreation service manager Douglas West had said at the time of the 2000 article that he had counted at least a dozen drownings over his 23 years of work.
It was reported that "most drowning victims were swimmers venturing into restricted waters". While speaking to the publication, West said, "The only thing I can emphasize is that if swimmers are around water, they need to wear a personal flotation device whether they know how to swim or not. That will save their lives."
While speaking to PEOPLE, Donoghue said, "Water searches are really difficult. Sometimes it can take several days before we find any clues or have a recovery. The surface area of the lake is large and your visibility underwater is limited."
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department recently released video footage of the visibility in Lake Piru. The video shows the low visibility in the lake and also shows what appears to be a tree. In the video, an officer is seen maneuvering a device that has a camera that has been submerged into the lake.