Naya Rivera Investigation: Body Found at Lake Where Glee Star Went Missing

Ventura County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that a body was found on Monday morning, July 13, at the lake where Naya Rivera went missing.

By Holly Passalaqua, Alyssa Morin Jul 13, 2020 6:00 PMTags
Watch: Naya Rivera Investigation Update: Police Reveal New Details

UPDATE: The Ventura County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that a body was found on Monday morning, July 13, at the lake where Naya Rivera went missing. The recovery is in progress and an identification has not yet been made, according to officials. A press conference is set for Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. PST.


All hands are on deck as the search for Naya Rivera continues.

It's been less than a week since the Glee alum disappeared. On Wednesday, July 8, the Ventura, Calif. police department confirmed Rivera was missing after her 4-year-old son was found alone on the boat she rented during an afternoon outing at Lake Piru.

The following day, authorities stated the actress was presumed dead and revealed they shifted her search to a "recovery mission." Since news broke about Rivera's disappearance, law enforcement has used "many resources" to find the 33-year-old star.

"Divers continue the search for Naya Rivera this afternoon at Lake Piru," the Ventura County Sheriff's Department tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking to E! News, Capt. Eric Buschow shared more insight into the Glee star's investigation, including how Rivera's son has helped the case, what law enforcement believes occurred and more.

"We are confident, based on the circumstances, she was not a victim of foul play. There is no indication of this being an abduction or a homicide," Buschow analyzed. "There is also nothing to indicate it was a suicide either."

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Buschow said he hopes that once they find the actress' body, an autopsy will provide some answers. "At the point that she's found... depending on what the autopsy results are, that may provide some clarity as to what took place," he said. "But it appears that this was just a tragic accident."

What law enforcement does know, according to Buschow, is that Rivera "went north on the lake."

"She never went to the south-side of the lake. We know that from surveillance cameras...," he explained. "The boat never came back to the south, so the focus of the search has been to the north and to the north-east side of the lake."

He also explained that the boat Rivera rented, which her son was found alone on, was "discovered to the north side of the lake."


"There weren't a lot of people on the lake that day. All of the times she was seen, were on the north side of the lake. Suffice to say that all indications are, at this point, that she drowned in the lake," he added. "All indications are she is in the water and we still believe that."

Buschow said the Glee star was last seen in the water, and she and her 4-year-old son "were swimming in the water together." He also confirmed that Josey was found "wearing his life vest."

"He was asleep on the boat, covered in a towel," Buschow shared, adding that Josey has helped out with the case. "Kids that age, they are going to be very matter of fact in providing information. And he was. He was able to provide information that was very helpful to investigators."

Buschow reassured that the search for Rivera will continue, however, certain resources will be "scaled back." Some of those resources have included, "side scan sonar, dogs and divers," as well as an "ROV," a remotely operated vehicle.

"There aren't as many personnel out there today as there were on say Thursday or Friday," he explained. "Part of that is... you know, some of those resources were provided by mutual aid, we have other counties that have helped out with resources."

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

"The search will continue in some form. And as we go forward that may be just limited to a couple boat crews, fly-overs by the helicopter, that sort of thing. Today, the sonar scanning at the lake will be finished," he shared. 

Buschow said his team "found something that looks promising," and are currently investigating it. However, he didn't clarify what the authorities found.

While the police department keeps searching for the 33-year-old star, Buschow expressed the ways her devoted fans can help.

"The best thing [her fans] can do is just keep the family in their thoughts. If you know them, reach out to them, support them, this is an incredibly difficult time for them as you can imagine," he expressed.

He knows many are wanting to go out to the lake, but he doesn't recommend it.

"First of all, the lake is closed to the public. With the heat and with the conditions, as soon as they drive up there, they'll realize that this is not for people who are untrained and unfamiliar with the area. I would not recommend it," he asserted.

(This story was originally published on on Sunday, Jul 12, 2020, 3:47 p.m. PST)