Naya Rivera's Friends & Fans Share Prayers And Outrage On Social Media, As Authorities Presume The Missing 'Glee' Alum Is Dead
After Glee star Naya Rivera went missing on Wednesday night at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, authorities have changed their mission from rescue to recovery. Rivera is now presumed to have drowned , and fans on social media have changed their posts from prayers to outrage.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Eric Buschow, Rivera rented a pontoon boat at 1:00 on Wednesday afternoon with her four-year-old son, Josey. About three hours later, another boater found Josey asleep and alone on the pontoon.
The New York Post reports that Josey was wearing a life jacket, but the adult life jacket was found on the boat along with Rivera’s purse and wallet. Josey reportedly told authorities that his mom jumped into the water but didn’t come back up.
“We’re going on the belief that she did go in the water and we have not been able to locate her,” Buschow said late Wednesday. “So this may well be a case of drowning.”
"We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us. We need your love and light 🙏🙏" wrote Rivera’s Glee co-star Heather Morris (Britney S. Pierce) on her Instagram Story.
Harry Shum Jr. (Mike Chang) tweeted "Praying," and Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins) posted a report about Rivera’s disappearance and wrote: "Oh God... mercy... please..."
The search that included dive teams, a helicopter, and a search drone was suspended overnight, and was set to resume at “first light” on Thursday. However, when they changed the search to a recovery mission in the morning, fans were not happy.
Many pointed out that Rivera - who is Puerto Rican, black, and German - would have been treated differently if she was white, like her co-star Lea Michele .
“WOMEN OF COLOR DESERVE BETTER,” wrote an unhappy fan. “WOMEN OF COLOR DESERVE TO BE SEARCHED FOR. TREAT NAYA LIKE SHES LEA MICHELE AND GO F—-G LOOK FOR HER I’M SICK.”
Another fan tweeted, “it’s actually infuriating. what if it was lea? or any other white actor? they wouldn’t be stopping their search,” “it doesn’t (and will never) matter if you’re gorgeous, rich, famous. naya is a latinx woman, with tan skin. FLASHLIGHTS, PEOPLE. ITS 2020.”
“The lake will be closed to the public while search operations continue,” tweeted the Ventura County Sheriff’s office on Thursday morning. “Dive teams from throughout the region will be assisting us through mutual aid.”
Sgt. Buschow says that Josey is “safe with family members.” His father is Ray Donovan actor Ryan Dorsey, who was married to Naya Rivera for four years before they divorced in 2018.