The search continues for Naya Rivera, the 33-year-old actress best known for starring on Fox's Glee. Naya Rivera disappeared at Lake Piru in California recently following an outing on a boat with her son. An extensive search has been underway to find her, but now authorities say that Rivera may never be found due to the conditions at the lake.
In a press conference on Thursday, Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue provided an update on the situation. Donoghue explained that visibility in the lake is very poor, which may make it difficult to find Naya Rivera. Here's what Donoghue had to say about it.
"In this particular lake, in that area, there's a lot of trees and plants and such that are under the water that can cause entanglements. It makes it unsafe for the divers and it makes it a more complicated search. If the body is entangled in something beneath the water, it may never come back up. We don't know."
Initially, authorities were treating it as search and rescue. However, as more time has passed, it has turned into a recovery operation. It is believed that Naya Rivera drowned. Diver Max O'Brien spoke during the press conference as well. He provided further details on the recovery efforts, shedding light on the conditions they are dealing with.
"The visibility is about one to two feet and then in some clearings it's up to three to five. There's a lot of tree branches and overgrowth from when the lake was lower, so we're digging through, breaking through sticks and searching a heavy brush bottom. Under the water, it's a lot by feel. Again, there's a lot of shrubbery and sticks that we have to break through as we're going through, so it's kind of a Braille search."
The former Glee star was last seen with her son Josey renting the boat. Hours later, the boat was discovered with Josey in it, but Rivera nowhere to be found. The Sheriff's office shared security footage on Twitter that shows Rivera walking with her son as they headed to the dock. Audio of the 911 call reporting Rivera as a missing person was also shared. Despite the difficult search conditions, Kevin Donoghue explained that they are using every resource at their disposal.
"We're using all the assets that are available to us. We're using technology like sonar. We have experts who have dove this lake, that know it inside and out, that know where debris pockets might be. We're relying on their expertise to help us in that endeavor. We're going to do everything that we can to find her. We're going to continue to search."
Local officials said more than 80 people have been involved in the search. However, that won't be sustainable in the long run. Kevin Donoghue also explained that those heading up the efforts may come to a point where they need to suspend the search.
"Those that are responsible for managing the overall search, they may get to a point in time where they've expelled every resource, they've searched every area, the probability of detection, of finding someone in a particular area, they've exhausted. When we get to that point, that's when they would probably have to suspend the search. But we're not there yet."
Aside from her work on Glee, Naya Rivera starred in her youth on shows like Family Matters and The Bernie Mac Show. In recent years, she appeared on Devious Maids and Step Up: High Water. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news was previously reported by ABC.