No one knows for sure yet what happened to Naya Rivera on Wednesday afternoon when she jumped off a rented boat and never resurfaced, but authorities do not believe that any of the evidence they have so far points to suicide.
The “Glee” star rented a pontoon boat with her four-year-old son Josey. She was supposed to return it within three hours, but when she didn’t the marina went looking for her. They found the boat with just Josey aboard, and Rivera’s life vest still in the vessel.
There have been some theories floating around the internet that Rivera committed suicide, but Sgt. Kevin Donoghue from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department told reporters they don’t think that’s what happened.
“We interviewed her son and there was nothing that we learned from her son that would have suggested that this was suicide. Everything that we’ve learned so far leads to this being some sort of water recreational accident,” he said.
He went on to make it clear that they still can’t say for sure what exactly happened to Rivera.
“To say definitively what actually happened, we really can’t say. We just don’t know, it’s a mystery,” Donoghue said. “We’re still investigating, we’re still searching. We’re trying to uncover clues as we go. But so far, we really don’t have a lot of information to make any guesses as to what could have happened.”
The search operation has now shift to body recovery after authorities announced that Rivera is now presumed dead. They are using divers and scanning sonar equipment to attempt to locate the actress.
Donoghue addd that there are serious visibility issues in the lake, which makes finding her body more difficult than it might be in other types of water.
“The conditions aren’t like they are in the ocean, where you can have some places really clean, clear water. In lakes, typically the closer you get to the bottom of the lake, the less visible it is,” Donoghue said. “So if she’s resting at the bottom of the lake, she’s probably resting somewhere where there’s zero visibility.”
One of the divers involved in the search operation told The Daily Mail that he believes she may have dived off the boat and hit her head on something in the water. He said that in some of the lake’s coves, the water is only a few feet deep. The lake is also man made, so there are lots of underwater trees that someone diving off a boat might not see.