Days after Naya Rivera went missing in Southern California, the star’s friends, family members and fans are starting to realize they may need to accept a tragic reality:
There may never be any closure.
Giving an update on the Glee actress Thursday afternoon, Sgt. Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office admitted that Rivera’s body may never turn up.
“It depends,” Donoghue responded when asked if Rivera’s corpse will be recovered if she did, indeed drown in a tragic accident.
“If the body is entangled in something beneath the water, it may never come back up. We don’t know.”
As previously reported, the 34-year-old Rivera rented a pontoon boat with her four-year old son, Josey, on Wednesday morning.
Hours later, a fellow boater discovered Josie alone on the vessel… his mother nowhere to be found.
Authorities were subsequently called in and a massive search for Rivera commenced, with over 80 people at one point scouring Lake Piru.
Sadly, though, police officers quickly grew pessimistic over their chances of locating Rivera, giving the low visibility in the area.
According to the same office cited above, “investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident.”
Could she somehow have taken her own life?
Considering the former Glee actress posted on Instagram this month about the important of savoring each and every day?
“We interviewed her son and there was nothing that we learned from her son that would have suggested that this was suicide.”
“Everything that we’ve learned so far leads to this being some sort of water recreational accident,” Donoghue added.
Donoghue went on to provide a few more details, but none which shed much light on what actually happened to Rivera.
Despite all the tools available to authorities, they appear to be up against the elements and the odds in this case.
The officer noted that the search uses advanced technology, such as a scanning sonar, which “paints pictures of the lake bed floor.”
“When it sees an anomaly, an object that’s consistent with the shape and size of what we’re looking for, then we send divers to search that specific area.”
Donoghue said three such devices are being used to search for Rivera’s body, though he wouldn’t pinpoint their chances of success.
“To say definitively what actually happened, we really can’t say. We just don’t know, it’s a mystery.
“We’re still investigating, we’re still searching. We’re trying to uncover clues as we go.”
“But so far, we really don’t have a lot of information to make any guesses as to what could have happened.”
If Rivera really did drown and perish this week, she would be the ninth victim to have done so since 1994 in Lake Piru.
The body of water is not a natural lake – and its bottom is covered by trees and other debris, in which a swimmer can easily get entangled.
The lake also has strong currents, making swimming difficult.
“People have been asking for years for the city to put up warning signs for swimmers,” reads a new petition, shared in the wake of Rivera’s disappearance.
“Locals of Ventura County don’t go to Lake Piru for this reason! Tourists have no idea what they’re getting into. Lake Piru needs signs.”
“We’re tired of waiting. We need justice for all those who got lost at Lake Piru. Put up the signs.”
Lake Piru is located about 57 miles north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, California, is nearly two miles long and 130-feet deep at some points.
Following the discovery of the pontoon on Wednesday, Josey told investigators that his mother did not get back in the boat after being in the lake.
It is unclear, though, if Rivera put her son back in… or if Josey climbed up himself.
“I know she was in the water. I don’t know if she helped him back on the boat,” Donoghue said.
“That I don’t know.”
As former co-stars and loved ones continue to mourn Rivera – fearing the worst while trying to maintain whatever semblance of hope they can – Josey at least appears to be in good physical condition.
Police said Thursday that four-year old, who has since reunited with father Ryan Dorsey, is in “good health.”
Ryan and Naya were married from 2014-2018, and Josey is the couple’s only child together.
Devastatingly, to state the obvious, the boy remains the only witness to what happened to Naya.
“He gave us enough information for us to conclude that she is still in the lake somewhere,” Donoghue said.
‘My investigators are speaking to the family,” he added. “They’re saying he’s doing as good as he can under these circumstances.”
“Given his age, I don’t think he fully understands everything that’s going on. But his family, their family, they’re heartbroken.”
“This is an absolute tragedy.”