LAKE PIRU (CBSLA) – As the search for “Glee” actress Naya Rivera continued on Thursday, Ventura County officials released the emergency call that was made after her 4-year-old son was found on a boat on the lake.
“The emergency is, we have a missing person,” said an employee of the rental boat business. “We found a little girl alone in one of the boats and her mother is nowhere to be found.”
The caller initially assumed that Rivera’s child, a 4-year-old boy, was a little girl because of his long hair.
Ventura County’s sheriff department also released a security video in which 33-year-old Rivera and her child boarded the boat on Wednesday afternoon.
“They concluded that they were the only two on the boat when the boat left the dock,” said Sgt. Kevin Donoghue of VCSD said.
Rivera’s son was found sleeping in the boat in a life jacket on Wednesday afternoon, and an adult-sized life jacket was also found in the boat.
“After talking to her son, we had no indication that Ms. Rivera made it ashore,” said Donoghue.
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MPs said Rivera had experience navigating Lake Piru, but even the most experienced swimmers could succumb to the lake’s dangerous currents or get caught in ruins.
“It’s a lot like feeling underwater,” said Max O’Brien, one of the divers. “There are a lot of bushes and sticks that we have to break through when we walk through, so it’s kind of a braille search.”
Officials said Thursday that the search and rescue efforts had turned into search and recovery efforts, with Rivera believed to be dead.
The diving teams left the lake at night, although the MPs will stay on site. Divers will continue to search for water on Friday morning.