Naya Rivera's Glee co-star Heather Morris' frantic plea to police

Sarah Carty
·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

Naya Rivera’s former Glee co-star, Heather Morris, has pleaded with police to let her join the search for the actress, who went missing on a lake in California last Wednesday.

Heather, who played Brittany S. Pierce, on the hit musical show, took to her Twitter account in a desperate plea to authorities, saying she feels ‘helpless’.

Naya Rivera and Heather Morris attend the EW and SyFy party during Comic-Con 2010 at Hotel Solamar on July 24, 2010 in San Diego, California.
Heather Morris has pleaded with the police to let her and group of friends join the search for Naya Rivera. Photo: Getty Images

The actress, who played Naya’s love interest on the show, said she and a group of friends want to help out in the search at Lake Piru.

“My name is Heather Morris, I'm Naya’s close friend and co-worker, and I'm trying to conduct an on foot search and rescue mission along with a small group of friends at Lake Piru.,” she wrote to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter.

“I understand your team is doing EVERYTHING in their power, but we are feeling helpless, powerless and want to help in any way.

“I have left a message with the department of Rescue and Air today, and I will call again tomorrow. Thank you.”

GLEE: Santana (Naya Rivera, L) and Brittany (Heather Morris, R) perform in the "Jagged Little Tapestry" episode of GLEE airing Friday, Jan. 16 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Tyler Golden/FOX
Heather played Naya’s love interest on the show. Photo: Getty Images

Last Wednesday, Naya went missing after renting a boat with her four-year-old son, Josey, at Lake Piru in California.

According to an incident report posted online by the sheriff’s office: “The boat was found drifting in the northern portion of the lake with the child alone and asleep onboard.

“Rivera’s son told investigators that he and his mother had been swimming in the lake, and he got back in the boat, but Rivera did not.”

California authorities continue the search for actress Naya Rivera, who disappeared in Lake Piru on July 8, 2020. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)
California authorities continue the search for actress Naya Rivera, who disappeared in Lake Piru on July 8, 2020. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)

Approximately 100 people are searching for Rivera in what is now a recovery mission. “Investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident,” the report says.

In a press conference Thursday, Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said: “In the lake, the visibility is terrible. This particular lake, in that area, there’s a lot of trees and plants and such that are under the water that can cause entanglements. It makes it unsafe for the divers and makes a more complicated search.”

He also had this chilling message: “If the body is entangled in something beneath the water, it may never come back up.”

A petition for warning signs to be posted at California’s Lake Piru is quickly racking up signatures.

The Change.org petition with more than 25,000 signatures is addressed to Lake Piru, the surrounding Ventura County and the state of California. “Naya Rivera is not the first, nor the last to go missing at Lake Piru,” it reads, describing the body of water as “a very deep lake with very bad whirlpools.”

“People have been asking for years for the city to put up warning signs for swimmers,” it continues. “Locals of Ventura County don’t go to Lake Piru for this reason! Tourist have no idea what they’re getting into. Lake Piru needs signs. We’re tired of waiting. We need justice for all those who got lost at Lake Piru...”

Douglas West, who was Lake Piru’s parks and recreation services manager told the Los Angeles Times in 2000, that there were about a dozen drownings during the 23 years he worked there. Most cases involved poor swimmers who did not wear safety jackets or who swam in restricted portions of the lake.

With extra reporting by Korin Miller

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