Naya Rivera, Son Seen in Security Video, Search Could Take Days

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Authorities are convinced that Glee star Naya Rivera drowned in a Southern California. “Investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident,” a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office statement said on Thursday.

Glee Star Naya Rivera Missing, Presumed Drowned, After Boat Ride (UPDATE)

Surveillance video taken at about 1pm Wednesday shows Naya and her 4 year old son Josey leaving on the boat at Lake Piru, something she had done before. “She had experience boating out here at the lake,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said.

Surveillance Video Shows Naya Rivera and Son Parking, Renting Boat

The boy was discovered asleep and wearing a life vest by the vendor who rented the boat to the pair. Rivera’s identification and an adult life vest were on the boat, and her car was found in a parking area, Donoghue said. Josey told investigators that he and his mother went swimming and he got back on the boat, but “his mom never made it out of the water,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said.

Search is complicated by low visibility

The effort has shifted from an attempt to rescue the 33 year old actress to an attempt to recover her body. Complicating the sheriff’s office efforts is murky waters heavy with vegetation only allowing divers to see about a foot ahead of them.
“In the lake, the visibility is terrible,” Donoghue said. Search teams were focusing on the north end of the lake, known as the Narrows, where the boy was found, and the east side, where wind patterns suggest it might have been earlier.

Vegetation can also be a challenge to swimmers. “If the body is entangled on something beneath the water, it may never come back up,” Donoghue said.

Search methods include divers, drones, all-terrain vehicles and sonar

Dozens of people, most of them divers, with help from helicopters, drones and all-terrain vehicles were involved in the search on Lake Piru, 55 miles (90 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles in the Los Padres National Forest in Thursday. Friday’s effort involved fewer divers. “We’re putting as many assets as we can out there,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Buschow said at a news conference Friday. “We appreciate everybody’s concern out there about locating her, and providing some closure for her family.”

Teams are also using sonar and robotic devices in what could be a long search for the actress, said authorities on Friday. “We don’t know if she’s going to be found five minutes from now or five days from now,” said Buschow.

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