The search for Naya Rivera continues.
It’s still been less than a week since the Glee alum disappeared on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, after going out in a boat last Wednesday with her 4-year-old son. He was later found alone on the pontoon she’d rented for the afternoon outing, with the TV star nowhere in sight. And now, authorities are continuing their search, as new information comes to light.
For one, as we reported on Sunday, Ventura County officials undertook an exhaustive cabin search, going around to the various structures in the area to determine whether Rivera could’ve somehow made it out of the lake and into a secluded cabin.
Unfortunately, “nothing came” of that particular investigative angle, with Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Shannon King telling People (below):
“They’re not occupied. Nothing came of it. They were just doing the shoreline to make sure nothing has changed. There were a lot of folks that were talking on social media about, ‘Oh, check the cabins. Maybe she’s there, maybe she’s hanging out.’ … But nothing came of it. There’s no evidence to say she left the water. It appears to be 100 percent just a tragic drowning.”
So, so sad…
Beyond that, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Buschow further informed the media about what investigators believe happened. The officer was “confident” Rivera had not been a victim of foul play just based on the security tapes, evidence, and interview statements they have been able to so far collect, saying:
“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. There is also nothing to indicate it was a suicide either. At the point that she’s found… depending on what the autopsy results are, that may provide some clarity as to what took place. But it appears that this was just a tragic accident.”
Ugh. Not exactly a vote of confidence in finding Rivera alive, but we sort of figured this is where investigators would be at this point. Just heartbreaking.
Buschow did share some interesting specifics about Rivera’s path once on the lake in the boat, noting “surveillance cameras” in the area confirmed she avoided the south side of the lake and went north almost immediately from the start of the trip with her son, Josey.
The officer added:
“She never went to the south-side of the lake. We know that from surveillance cameras, 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. 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. All indications are she is in the water and we still believe that.”
He also noted how Naya was last seen, saying how she and her 4-year-old son “were swimming in the water together.” Josey was found “wearing his life vest,” with Buschow continuing to share:
“He was asleep on the boat, covered in a towel. 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.”
The captain stated that while the search will continue, resources like “side scan sonar, dogs and divers,” as well as an “ROV,” a remotely operated vehicle, will be “scaled back.” He explained:
“There aren’t as many personnel out there today as there were on say Thursday or Friday. 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. 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.”
As of now, Buschow’s team has “found something that looks promising,” which they are investigating. In the meantime, he urges fans to stay at home:
“The best thing 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.”
Citing difficult conditions, the official described why it’s important to leave the search to the professionals:
“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.”
This is truly, truly tragic. Our thoughts continue to be with Rivera’s family during this unimaginably difficult, uncertain time…
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