Amber Riley and Naya Rivera were original cast members of Glee and starred on the show together until season 6 in 2015

By Claudia Harmata
July 12, 2020 06:30 PM
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Amber Riley is speaking out after Glee costar Naya Rivera's disappearance, urging fans to focus on finding the missing actress.

The search for Rivera, 33, continues days after the star disappeared on July 8 at Lake Piru, where she was with her 4-year-old son Josey.

"Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family," Riley, who played Mercedes Jones on the Fox series, tweeted on Sunday.

"No one owes anyone online a performance of grief. This is very real and devastating. Focus on Naya and her family. Not us," she added, referring to the Glee cast. "We don’t matter right now."

Costar Kevin Hale also tweeted on Sunday, writing, "I cannot begin to understand what Naya's family must be feeling. I know the rest of us are completely shattered, but not without hope. Please respect her family & their privacy in this moment. Please refrain from judging those who don’t show their pain on social media."

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McHale, Riley, 34, and Rivera were original cast members of Glee and starred on the show together until season 6 in 2015.

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Also on Sunday, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning to anyone "intent on searching for Naya Rivera on your own," imploring them not to do so as conditions around Lake Piru are dangerous.

"1. The lake is closed. 2. Temps are already in the 90’s. 3. The terrain around the lake is very steep and rugged. Our teams are well equipped and highly trained. We don’t want to have to rescue you," the sheriff's office shared on Twitter.

Speaking with PEOPLE on Sunday, Sgt. Shannon King confirmed that investigators completed a search of the cabins near the lake. “They’re not occupied. Nothing came of it,” King said, explaining that the larger focus of the search “was the shoreline.”

“They were just doing the shoreline to make sure nothing has changed. There were a lot of folks that were talking on social media about, ‘Oh, check the cabins. Maybe she’s there, maybe she’s hanging out,’ ” King said, noting that since they had “extra” search and rescue personnel on Sunday, they “did go to a couple of the cabins that were on the north end of the lake, that’s all that’s out there, and nothing came of it.”

Authorities said "there’s no evidence to say she left the water" and "it appears to be 100 percent just a tragic drowning," according to King.

As the search for Rivera, 33, continues, authorities will continue using scanning sonar, dive boat crews and search and rescue teams for “visual surface checks” of the water.

On Sunday, the Sheriff's Office also shared a photo of divers in the water looking for Rivera. "Divers continue the search for Naya Rivera this afternoon at Lake Piru. This is day 5 of the search and recovery effort," the wrote on Twitter. "She disappeared Wednesday afternoon while swimming in the lake."

King said investigators will continue to search the area “at least through Tuesday.”

“There’s no talk of either one way or the other after Tuesday,” King notes. “Tuesday’s sort of the projected date that we’re discussing, and we’re going to continue doing what we have been doing.”

Rivera was presumed dead on July 9, one day after her son Josey was found alone on a pontoon boat at Lake Piru, where they had been swimming.

Authorities have said that Josey is "in good health" and the child has since been reunited with his dad Ryan Dorsey, who is Rivera's ex-husband. The toddler told investigators that his mother never got back into the boat after they had been in the water, according to a press release.