From going missing to discovery of her body - a timeline of Naya Rivera's tragic death

15 July 2020 - 13:17 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Tributes poured in for 'Glee' star Naya Rivera a day after her body was recovered in a US lake.
Tributes poured in for 'Glee' star Naya Rivera a day after her body was recovered in a US lake.
Image: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic for Fashion Media via Getty Images

The death of 33-year-old Glee actress Naya Rivera has left the global community reeling as her fans and loved ones seek answers about what could have happened in her last moments.

Here's a timeline of her disappearance and the rescue operation:

Search operation - July 8

The Ventura County sheriff’s department announced it was conducting a search and rescue operation for a person who might possibly have drowned in a lake in southern California in the US.

According to Eric Buschow of the Ventura County sheriff's office, the actress hired a boat last Wednesday and spent the day with her son, Josey, at Lake Peru. The four-year-old was found asleep on the boat with his life vest on.

Suspicions of her death intensify - July 10

On Friday, authorities said they believed Rivera may have drowned after an intensive search the day before yielded no results. A statement from the local sheriff's department said what was initially a search operation had become “a recovery mission”. 

Shocking discovery - July 14

Ventura County sheriff Bill Ayub on Tuesday told the media  that the star's body had been recovered at the lake. He said investigations found “no foul play or suicide”.

He said her body would be taken for an autopsy to confirm her identity. Ayub said the actress could have drowned in strong currents. “The idea being that the boat started drifting — it was unanchored — and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on to the boat, but not enough to save herself,” he said.


Fans and entertainment industry colleagues continue to share their memories of the star via social media.