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Naya Rivera Is Presumed Dead, Search Shifted From Rescue to Recovery Mission

Naya Rivera is presumed dead after hours of searching. Now, the missing person search has changed to a recovery mission, authorities revealed in a press conference on Thursday, July 9.

Related: Naya Rivera Through the Years: ‘Glee,’ Motherhood and More

The actress, 33, was reported missing on Wednesday, July 8, after her 4-year-old son was found alone on a boat in Lake Piru around 4 p.m. PT. A search began immediately and lasted until 10 p.m. PT on Wednesday night, when it was stopped due to lack of visibility. The search picked back up at 5:45 a.m. PT., the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office confirmed via Twitter.

However, officials are now calling it a search and recovery effort.

Naya Rivera Presumed Dead Recovery Mission Underway
Naya Rivera David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock

“Multiple teams of professional search & rescue personnel are actively searching Lake Piru for clues to the location of Naya Rivera,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office tweeted on Thursday. “With over 80 people involved in the search right now, we are using helicopters, boats, ATV vehicles, and ground personnel to try and locate her.”

Josey, Rivera’s son whom she shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, is “in good health” following the incident, Captain Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department told reporters on Thursday. “The family is going through a very traumatic time right now.”

Related: Naya Rivera's Sweetest Moments With Her Son Josey

Buschow shared details of the incident with Us on Wednesday, revealing that Josey was found wearing a life vest asleep on the pontoon boat that Rivera rented earlier that day.

“Another vest [was found] on board the boat for an adult, so it looks like [Rivera] was not wearing [hers],” Buschow explained. “The son said they were in the water swimming together. He came up and got back up on the boat, but she did not. He was found on the boat by a passerby. He was found fast asleep on the boat by himself.”

Family members came to pick up Josey on Wednesday evening when the search began, which included divers, drone teams and helicopters.

The Step Up actress posted a photo of herself kissing her son one day before the accident. “Just the two of us,” she captioned the Twitter photo on Tuesday, July 7.

Additionally, on July 2, the “Sorry” singer shared a photo of herself with a meaningful caption. “No matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you’re alive is a blessing,” Rivera wrote. “Make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised.”

Related: Celebs Share Messages of Hope After Naya Rivera Goes Missing

The actress, best known for her role as Santana Lopez on Glee, has received an outpouring of prayers via social media.

“We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us,” Heather Morris, who portrayed Rivera’s love interest on the Fox show, tweeted. “We need your love and light.”

Demi Lovato, who also worked closely with Rivera on the musical series, shared a photo of a candle on her Instagram Story.

“Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound,” the singer, 27, wrote.

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