The first sign that something had gone wrong in Naya Rivera‘s July 8 boating trip on California’s Lake Piru came when her four-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey was found alone on their pontoon vessel and the former Glee star was missing. A woman whose husband was one of the first on scene to tend to the little boy called 911 to report a child had been found in a boat with no mother present. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department released the contents of the call during a July 8 news conference, where it was revealed that if the 33-year-old drowned, her body might never be found due to trees and debris in the deep lake’s bed.
The dispatcher then asks, “Boy or girl?” and the woman tells her, “I believe it is a little girl.” In paparazzi pictures from several days before Naya’s boating accident, she was seen out with Josey and his hair was long and curly. When asked about the age of the child, the woman tells the dispatcher, “Like I said I have no idea, I’m heading down there now.”
Naya rented the boat around 1pm on July 8 to go out on the lake northwest of Los Angeles with her son. Josey was found asleep aboard the boat with his lifejacket still on around 4pm that same afternoon, with no sign of Naya. He later told authorities that they went swimming, but his mom never got back on the boat. An aerial and dive team search was launched late in the afternoon, but was called off upon nightfall due to poor visibility in the lake. Naya’s black Mercedes G-Wagon was still in the boat rental’s parking lot well after the lake had closed for the evening.
no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you're alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised pic.twitter.com/O4t7wdqA4k
— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 2, 2020
In the briefing where the 911 call was released, Sgt. Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said, “We have recovered video evidence from the dock that shows Ms. Rivera and her son being the only two people getting onboard the boat. We’ve had no indication after talking to her son that Ms. Rivera made it to shore. So the focus of our search efforts are in the water at this time.” Donoghue added that Josey, “gave enough information to investigators to conclude that his mother never made it out of the water.”
Naya was best known for her role of Santana Lopez on Glee from 2009-2015. She was due to start filming a new season of her YouTube Red dance drama Step Up: High Water. The talented brunette beauty married fellow actor Ryan Dorsey on July 19, 2015, and they welcomed their only child, Josey, just over a year later on September 17, 2015. The couple split in 2017, and finalized their divorce two years later.