The actress’ body was recovered from Lake Piru near Los Angeles, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department announced in a press conference on Monday, July 13.
The Glee alum was reported missing after a boater on Lake Piru in Los Angeles found Rivera’s 4-year-old son, Josey, asleep on a pontoon boat that the pair had rented earlier in the day, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to Us at the time. Rivera’s purse, wallet and ID were found on the boat.
During the press conference, Sheriff William Ayub revealed that Rivera’s son shared that his mother helped boost him into the boat after they were swimming in the water. He looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.
“As you can imagine, it has been an extremely difficult time for her family,” he said. “There is no indication of foul play and no indication this was a suicide.”
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Eric Buschow spoke with Us following the news of her disappearance. “We were notified and the search began,” he said. “Helicopters immediately flew out with the dive team and put divers in the water where she was last seen,”
“There was another vest on board the boat for an adult, so it looks like she was not wearing a vest,” Buschow added. “The son said they were in the water swimming together. He came up and got back up on the boat, but she did not.”
The search included helicopters, county fire, rangers, Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives and divers. Bushchow also told Us at the time that there was no indication of foul play and that the preliminary investigation shows that it was an accident.
Rivera is best known for her role as Santana Lopez, a character she played from 2009 to 2015 on Fox’s Glee. Following the end of the musical comedy, she landed a recurring role on Lifetime’s Devious Maids and was cast as the lead in YouTube’s Step Up TV series in 2018. The show was moved to Starz and renewed for a third season in May 2020.