GLEE star Naya Rivera may have hit her head diving from her boat into a California lake, a diver searching for her body claims.
The actress, 33, is presumed to have drowned at Lake Piru in southern California on Wednesday and a search and recovery operation is underway.
Naya’s four-year-old son, who was found alone on a rented boat, told investigators his mom “jumped into the water but didn’t come back up”.
Search and rescue diver Robert Inglis told DailyMailTV Rivera could have dived into the water from her boat and hit her head on one of the branches, shrubs and rocks beneath the surface.
He said: “People have broken their necks before. It’s happened in pools quite frequently, it can happen in lakes as well.
“If you go into some coves you could have 3ft off bottom and not even see it until you jumped in.
“There are places [like that] with the lake when you start to get more north because that’s where the shallow part of the lake is.
“There’s a lot of brush, you have these trees that are there and they do stick up.”
If you go into some coves you could have 3ft off bottom and not even see it until you jumped in
Search and rescue diver Robert Inglis
Naya’s heartbroken family says they “wish” searchers could find the star so they can have some “closure”.
A man who identified himself as Josey’s grandfather, believed to be Ryan’s dad, 65-year-old Arnold Dorsey, was at her mother Yolanda’s home in Valencia with the family on Friday.
Visibly upset, he told The Sun: “We are sad, we just wish they could find her so we can have some closure.”
Asked how her young son is coping, he replied: “We still have good days [with him], I can’t make any other comment at this time.”
Another member of the household was heard shouting, “We are sad,” as little Josey heartbreakingly asked for his grandfather, telling him: “Come on papa.”
Josey — who the couple had joint custody of after their 2018 divorce — was seen on an outing with his dad on Thursday, the day after Naya vanished,
On Thursday, officials switched their mission from search and rescue to a recovery operation.
Investigators with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said more than 100 personnel were searching for Naya after she disappeared in what they said “may well be a case of drowning.”
The Glee actress may have “drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident,” Sergeant Kevin Donoghue said during a press conference this week.
A witness who was on the marina previously told The Sun how staff realized Naya and her son were 30 minutes late returning their rented boat after a three-hour trip and went out to look for them.
They found the motorized vehicle floating against some rocks, with her four-year-old Josey inside asleep, who they “fed, comforted, and kept happy” until his family arrived.
Naya with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, share four-year-old Josey together[/caption]
Deputy Chris Dyer from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said: “I’ve been told she’s been coming here for years, she’s familiar with this lake.
“I have no idea where she’d stayed but I know she’s been coming here for a long time.
“This might have been a little sanctuary for her, especially on a Wednesday, no one is here on a Wednesday, it’s a good day to come.”
He added that the sheriff’s department had been in constant contact with Naya’s family, who came to the lake on Wednesday as soon as they heard the news.
“It’s discouraging anytime somebody goes missing, I’m sure right now those seconds seem like hours to them.”
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“All signs point to this being a horrible accident, there was no collision, there was no signs of any kind of struggle on the boat.”
Meanwhile, two “human remains detection” dogs have been enlisted in the grim search for Naya which will continue throughout the weekend if she is not found.
The highly-qualified German Shepherds, trained to detect gasses emitting from human cadavers, are undertaking a search along a grid of the lake and could potentially lead divers to Rivera’s body, according to the California Rescue Dog Association.