The Glee actress is presumed dead after her son Josey was found alone aboard a boat they'd rented on Lake Piru

By Jodi Guglielmi
July 10, 2020 01:36 PM
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Naya Rivera and son Josey
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

Naya Rivera's last Instagram post before her disappearance was a photo with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey.

The Glee alumna posted a sweet photo with the boy just two days before she was reported missing following an outing to the local Lake Piru. In the photo, Rivera is seen giving Josey a kiss while lying outside together.

"just the two of us," she wrote.

On Wednesday, Rivera rented a pontoon boat on the lake and went swimming in the water with Josey. When the boat became overdue for return after its three-hour rental, the staff at the lake found it at the north side of the water with her sleeping son aboard alone.

A search-and-rescue operation was immediately undertaken at the lake, but she was not found.

According to KNBC, Josey was wearing his lifejacket when he was found asleep on the boat. An adult lifejacket, believed to be the one provided to Rivera, was still on the boat. "This is considered to be a horrible accident," a Ventura County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told the outlet, adding that no foul play was suspected.

Rivera is now presumed to be dead, according to authorities, who have shifted their search to a mission to recover her body.

On Thursday, police said Josey, who has since reunited with dad Ryan Dorsey, was in "good health."A source in "disbelief" over the news of Rivera's disappearance told PEOPLE that the boy was always her first priority.

"Her son comes first. That’s apparent in everything she’s posted and done," the source said. "Everything is about her son.”

While the search for Rivera is still underway, police "don't know" if her body will ever be recovered.

"If the body is entangled in something underneath the water it may never come up," Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said Thursday evening.

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Police also told PEOPLE they are "confident" that Rivera is still in the water.

"She could have suffered a medical episode. We just don’t know. We won’t know until we find her," Donoghue told PEOPLE.

Rivera and Dorsey began dating in 2010 before splitting. In July 2014, they surprised fans when PEOPLE exclusively confirmed they had tied the knot in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — just three months after the bride broke off her engagement to rapper Big Sean. They welcomed Josey in September 2015 but later filed for divorce twice. Their divorce was finalized in June 2018.