Missing Glee star Naya Rivera now presumed dead, police say

Missing Glee star Naya Rivera is now presumed dead, police said.

The Ventura County Sheriff's office said the effort to find the actress is now a "search and recovery operation".

There is no foul play suspected and officers believe Rivera, 33, drowned. She went missing on Wednesday while on a rented boat with her four-year-old son at Lake Piru, about 56 miles north-west of central Los Angeles.

Search for missing Glee star continues
The pontoon at Lake Piru (Keiran Southern/PA)

Police said a huge search operation was launched, but the actress was not found. It resumed on Thursday morning and officers gave a grim update shortly afterwards.

Officer Chris Dyer said: "The latest is that we're switching efforts into a search and recovery operation. That doesn't change anything in the efforts that we're putting forth to locate her but it changes the title, in a sense.

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Naya Rivera at Womens Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Luncheon held at Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 06, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California, United States (Photo by JC Olivera/Sipa USA)
BEVERLY HILLS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA - SEPTEMBER 19: Naya Rivera arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Roadside Attraction's 'Judy' held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on September 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Sipa USA)
LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 13: Naya Rivera at FOX's 'Teen Choice 2017' at the Galen Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/FOX/PictureGroup)
Actress Naya Rivera attends the 24th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA on May 5, 2017. (Photo by CraSH/imageSPACE) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
31 October 2014 - Los Angeles, California - Naya Rivera. UNICEF's Next Generation Presents 2nd Annual UNICEF Masquerade Ball Held at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever. Photo Credit: F.Sadou/AdMedia/Sipa USA
31 October 2014 - Los Angeles, California - Ryan Dorsey, Naya Rivera. UNICEF's Next Generation Presents 2nd Annual UNICEF Masquerade Ball Held at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever. Photo Credit: F.Sadou/AdMedia/Sipa USA
18 March 2014 - Los Angeles, California - Naya Rivera. 2014 The 'Glee' 100th episode celebration held at Chateau Marmont. Photo Credit: Tonya Wise/AdMedia/Sipa USA
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Naya Rivera attends the 2014 People's Choice Awards, held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California, Wednesday, January 8, 2014. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Sipa USA)
11 December 2013 - Beverly Hills, California - Naya Rivera, Big Sean. The Hollywood Reporter's Women In Entertainment Breakfast Honoring Oprah Winfrey at Beverly Hills Hotel. Photo Credit: Kevan Brooks/AdMedia/Sipa USA
24 November 2013 - Los Angeles, California - Naya Rivera. 2013 American Music Awards - Arrivals held at Nokia Theatre LA Live. Photo Credit: Byron Purvis/AdMedia/Sipa USA

"We're presuming that an accident happened, we're presuming that she drowned in the lake. There are no signs of foul play, no signs that anything went wrong besides a tragic accident."

Mr Dyer added: "The goal is still to bring Ms Rivera home to her family so they can have some closure."

The alarm was raised after Rivera, best known for playing high school cheerleader Santana Lopez on musical comedy series Glee, failed to return the boat, which was found drifting with the child sleeping alone on board.

The search for Rivera resumed at daybreak on Thursday, with helicopters, boats, divers and sonar teams expected to be involved.

The lake varies in depth greatly, Mr Dyer said, saying it can go from between 50-60ft to 4ft over a short distance.

Visibility in the lake during the daytime is about eight to 10 inches, while sizeable debris including trees flow beneath the surface, Mr Dyer said.

Rivera had visited the popular lake previously, the police said. The focus of the search is the northern end of the lake.

Rivera's son, Josey Hollis, is in good health and with family, police said.

He told officers his mother put him back on the boat but never got back on herself.

Search for missing Glee star continues
Lake Piru in California (Keiran Southern/PA)

On Tuesday, Rivera tweeted a picture with her son, captioned: "Just the two of us."

The actress earned significant success starring in Glee and the California-born star followed it up with her feature film debut in 2014 horror film At The Devil's Door.

She later had a role in the Lifetime TV series Devious Maids.

Rivera became engaged to rapper Big Sean in October 2013, but they ended their relationship in April 2014.

She then began dating actor Ryan Dorsey and they married in Mexico in July that year.

The couple had son Josey Hollis in September 2015.

Rivera filed for divorce after two years of marriage, but they later called off the separation before finalising their divorce in June 2018.

Pop star Demi Lovato and Rivera's former Glee co-stars were among those sharing their hopes for her safe return on social media.

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