Lake Piru: What to know about reservoir where Naya Rivera vanished

Actress Naya Rivera
Actor Naya Rivera is best known for her role as Santana Lopez in Glee. Pic credit:

Actress Naya Rivera is presumed drowned after she went missing on Wednesday night while boating on Lake Piru in Southern California with her son.

Naya Rivera was reportedly last seen around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, when she went to rent a pontoon boat at a rental company.

Someone spotted the boat drifting on the water a few hours later and called the police, according to Fox11.

Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies found the former Glee star’s 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, alone in the boat on Lake Piru, shortly before 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

The little boy was alive and well. He was asleep in the boat with his live vest on but his mother was missing.

According to Fox11, Rivera’s life jacket was found in the boat. Her black Mercedes G-Wagon was also found in a parking lot near the company where she rented the boat.

Josey said his mom “jumped into the water but didn’t come back up”

Rivera’s 4-year-old, Josey, told Sheriff’s deputies that he and his mom had been swimming in the water. He said that she “jumped into the water and did not come back up,” according to The Sun.

The lake was closed to the public while rescuers, including members of the Ventura County Dive Teams, the Ventura County Fire Departement, and Los Angles County Fire Department, started searching the lake.

They searched until nightfall on Wednesday but found no signs of the Glee star. They were expected to resume the search on Thursday morning.

Ventura County Sheriff said they were treating the case as drowning.

Ventura County Sheriff's Office tweets about Naya Rivera
Pic credit: @VENTURASHERIFF/Twitter


Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Pic credit: @VENTURASHERIFF/Twitter

Rivera went missing on Wednesday after uploading a pic on her Instagram on Tuesday showing her kissing her son Josey.

The picture was captioned:

“Just two of us.”

Naya Rivera Instagram
Pic credit: @nayarivera/Instagram

Rivera, 33, is married to Ryan Dorsey, and they divorced in 2018. They share custody of their son.

She is known for playing cheerleader Santana Lopez on Fox’s musical drama series Glee that aired from 2009 to 2015.

Ryan Dorsey is known for his role in the crime series Ray Donovan. He also appeared in Stumptown, Yellowstone, and The Rookie.

Lake Piru: What you need to know

Lake Piru is a 1,200 acre and 160-feet deep reservoir with a 12-mile shoreline in Southern California. The lake is a popular destination for tourists and residents.

Drownings in Lake Piru’s cold waters have been reported in the past.

According to the Los Angeles Times, about seven cases were reported between 1994 and 2000.

The drownings are believed to be due to the lake’s cold waters, deadly rip currents, and surges of waves that can tire out even strong and experienced swimmers.

Some of the drownings also occurred after swimmers strayed into prohibited areas of the water.

According to The Sun, Steve White, a former Ventura State Beach lifeguard supervisor, said the lake was dangerous for novice swimmers who are not wearing life jackets.

People who have drowned in the past while swimming in the water include a Los Angeles man named Naftoli Smolyansky. The 39-year-old drowned while trying to rescue his five-year-old daughter who fell out of a boat.

According to LA Times, others include 25-year-old Eric Cruz of Van Nuys who drowned in 2000 and 27-year-old Jesus Danilo Carranza of North Hollywood who drowned in 1994.

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