LOS ANGELES (NEXSTAR) — Authorities in Ventura County, California say “Glee” star Naya Rivera is presumed dead after vanishing while boating with her son on Wednesday. Rivera would be the third major star of the popular musical-comedy series to die since the show debuted in 2009.
Rivera played Santana, a cheerleader in the show that aired on Fox from 2009 until 2015. The 33-year-old appeared in 113 episodes of the series and once dated co-star Mark Salling, who killed himself in 2018 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
In 2013, Cory Monteith, one of the show’s featured stars, died of an accidental overdose. The 31-year-old actor who played Finn Hudson was found dead in a hotel room. His death happened while the show was still in production.
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The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department late Wednesday said the search in the waters of Lake Piru near Los Angeles would resume on Thursday morning.
Rivera’s young son was found on a boat wearing a life vest. The Associated Press reports Rivera’s identification was found on the boat.
Rivera’s 4-year-old son is from a marriage with actor Ryan Dorsey. The couple finalized their divorce in June 2018 after nearly four years of marriage.
She called her young son “my greatest success, and I will never do any better than him” in her 2016 memoir “Sorry Not Sorry.”
The actress was engaged to rapper Big Sean in 2013, but their relationship ended a year later. The pair met on Twitter and collaborated musically, with the rapper appearing on Rivera’s debut single “Sorry.”
The death of actor Cory Monteith in 2013 was ruled an accident with a coroner saying Monteith “died of mixed drug toxicity, involving intravenous heroin use combined with the ingestion of alcohol,” according to KTLA.
At 31 years old, Monteith had a history of drug use and rehabilitation attempts. “Glee” co-star Lea Michele was dating Monteith at the time of his death.
“Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support. Cory will forever be in my heart,” she wrote on Twitter shortly after his passing.
Monteith had checked into rehab months before his death.
More than a month before he was scheduled to be sentenced in 2018 for possessing child pornography, “Glee” star Mark Salling was found dead in an apparent suicide. He was 35.
“Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment,” read a statement from his lawyer.
Salling had pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor as part of a plea agreement. As part of that deal, he admitted to downloading 25,000 images of children engaging in sexual acts.
Salling was to be sentenced to between four to seven years in federal prison, and 20 years of supervised release as part of the plea agreement.
Salling played the role as Noah “Puck” Puckerman.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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