Sonar, divers search for ‘Glee’ star thought to have drowned

“Glee” star Naya Rivera is presumed dead by authorities. File/AFP
Short Url
Updated 11 July 2020

Sonar, divers search for ‘Glee’ star thought to have drowned

LOS ANGELES: Teams are using sonar and robotic devices in what could be a long search for “Glee” star Naya Rivera, who authorities believe drowned in a Southern California lake.

“We don’t know if she’s going to be found five minutes from now or five days from now,” Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Eric Buschow said at a news conference Friday, two days after Rivera’s 4-year-old son was found asleep and alone on a boat the two had rented a few hours earlier.

Search teams on Lake Piru are towing sonar devices across the surface that scan the bottom for shapes that might be a body, then employing small remote controlled devices to explore the underwater spaces that show promise.

Two such shapes were found Friday, but neither led to Rivera, Buschow said.

Divers are also still searching the murky waters, but fewer are being used than in the hours immediately after the 33-year-old was reported missing.

“We're putting as many assets as we can out there,” Buschow said. “We appreciate everybody’s concern out there about locating her, and providing some closure for her family.”

Surveillance video showed Rivera and her son parking and entering the boat dock in the recreation area at the lake 55 miles (89 kilometres) northwest of downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. She had experience boating on the lake.

About three hours later, the man who rented them the pontoon boat found the boy alone on it wearing a life vest. The boy told investigators he and his mother had gone swimming, and he had gotten back on the boat but she hadn’t.

An adult life vest was found in the boat, along with Rivera’s identification, and her car was still in the parking lot.

On Thursday, authorities said they believed she had accidentally drowned, and the search had shifted from an effort to rescue Rivera to an attempt to find her body.

Search teams were focusing on the north end of the lake, known as the Narrows, where the boy was found, and the east side, where wind patterns suggest it might have been earlier.

The boy, Rivera’s son with actor Ryan Dorsey, was safe and healthy and with family members, authorities said. The couple divorced in 2018.

The last tweet on Rivera’s account, from Tuesday, read “just the two of us” along with a photo of her and her son.

Rivera played singing cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox musical-comedy “Glee.”

If she is declared dead, she will become the third major cast member from the show to die in their 30s.

Cory Monteith, one of the show’s leads, died at 31 in 2013 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.

And co-star Mark Salling, who Rivera dated at one point, killed himself in 2018 at age 35 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.


Lebanese actress Nadine Njeim undergoes 6-hour surgery after Beirut explosion 

Updated 05 August 2020

Lebanese actress Nadine Njeim undergoes 6-hour surgery after Beirut explosion 

DUBAI: Lebanese actress Nadine Nassib Njeim revealed on Instagram that she underwent a six-hour surgery after a massive explosion ripped through Beirut on Tuesday, killing over 100 people and injuring thousands. 

“Half my face and my body were covered in blood,” said Njeim, who lives close to the port area where the explosion happened, captioning a video – shot by someone else – of her damaged apartment.

“I thank God first, who saved my life. The explosion was close, and the scenes you see do not do it justice. If you visit the house and see the blood everywhere, you would be surprised as to how we are still alive,” the star, who has two children, wrote captioning the clip that shows shattered glass, cracked walls and broken furniture strewn all over her living room.

According to her post, the star went down 22 floors, barefoot and covered in blood and sought help from a man who was in his car. 

“He dropped me to the nearest hospital, but they refused to admit me because they were packed with wounded people,” she said. “He dropped me to another hospital where they immediately took me in and I underwent a six-hour operation.” 

The 36-year-old actress said her children were not home and are “fine and safe.”

Multiple Lebanese celebrities have also taken to social media to share videos of their destroyed homes. 

Singer Haifa Wehbe shared, on her Instagram Stories, clips of the destruction that ravaged her home. “We are all okay thank God. My house is next to the explosion,” she wrote to her followers before asking them to keep her house helper, who got injured in her head and eyes, in their prayers.

Clips circulated on social media of Lebanese fashion designer Dalida Ayach, who is also the wife of singer Ramy Ayach, in the hospital being treated for her injuries. 

Singer Elissa, who recently released a new album, took to Twitter to share pictures of the aftermath of the explosion. “It affected the metals and the properties this time, but who will bring back the dead? Who will bring back Beirut?” the star wrote.

Singer Ragheb Alama’s house also got destroyed, but luckily, he and his family were on a trip outside the city.

The ateliers of renowned Lebanese designers have also been ruined, including Maison Rabih Kayrouz and Ralph Masri’s flagship stores.

Taking to his Stories, Kayrouz shared videos of the damage caused by the explosion to his atelier. “Our courageous team trying to save… what could be saved!” the designer captioned one clip of one of the atelier workers pulling out clothing from the debris.