Glee star Naya Rivera is said to have drowned in a “tragic accident” while sailing with her young son on a lake in California, police said.
The 33-year-old woman was reported missing Wednesday afternoon when her boat was seen drifting on Lake Piru, northwest of Los Angeles.
Her son, 4, was found asleep on board. He told the police that they went to swim, but his mother never returned.
Research teams are looking for his body, but the conditions are difficult.
Rivera is best known for playing cheerleader Santana Lopez in Glee, the hugely popular musical comedy TV series broadcast on the Fox network from 2009 to 2015.
What do we know about the nautical incident?
Rivera and her son rented a boat together at 1,300 PST (2,000 GMT) on Wednesday, officials said.
The boat was to return three hours later, but when the pair did not return, the workers went looking for them.
The child was found by another person on the lake “asleep and with his life jacket,” police said.
After a massive search and rescue operation found no traces of Rivera, the police proceeded to a “search and recovery operation”.
“We assume that an accident has occurred and assume that it drowned in the lake,” said Chris Dyer, of the Ventura County sheriff.
“The goal is still to bring Ms. Rivera home so that she can have a closure,” added Dyer.
Visibility in the lake is poor and police also warned that it could take weeks to find a body if it could be found.
Who is Naya Rivera?
Rivera began her career as a child actress and model, appearing in television commercials in the United States.
At the age of four, she starred in the royal family sitcom and had a number of other television appearances.
But it was playing the cold heart of Santana Lopez in Glee that made her a star in America.
In 2014 Rivera starred in the horror film At the Devil’s Door.
The same year, she married actor Ryan Dorsey – who is the father of her son. The couple divorced in 2018 and have joint custody of the boy.
Her latest article on Instagram on Tuesday shows herself and her son with the caption “just the two of us.”