GLEE actress Naya Rivera had been visiting the lake where she went missing for years and saw it as her "sanctuary", cops revealed.
It comes as Ventura Sheriff's Department announced they had called off their search and rescue operation to find the 33-year-old Naya, who disappeared while sailing with her son on Lake Piru, California, and it was now a "search and recovery" mission.
Meanwhile a witness told The Sun how staff found her boat floating against some rocks, with her four-year-old Josey inside, who they "fed, comforted and kept happy" until family arrived.
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…
"All signs point to this was a horrible accident, there was no collision, there was no signs of any kind of struggle on the boat."
A man who was out on the marina yesterday told The Sun how Naya's lifejacket was found in her rented boat when staff went to find her after she and her son were 30 minutes late returning from their sailing trip.
He said staff rallied round little Josey, who heartbreakingly didn't seem to understand what had happened.
“It was a very, very sad day," he said.
“The boat was 30 minutes late returning so marina staff went out and found it with Josey in, they were the ones who raised the alarm.
“Josey was asleep on the boat wearing a life jacket but Naya’s jacket was sitting on the seat.
“Anyone 18 or over it is up to them if they were a jacket or not, but it has to be on the boat.
“The boat was floating up against some rocks on the side of the lake.
“Staff then went out and started searching the lake, it was a big team effort while others took care of Josey.
“They fed him, comforted him and kept him happy until his family arrived.
“Helicopters were there within 30 min of Lake Piru calling the sheriff’s department.
“Josey didn’t seem upset, he is maybe a little too young to understand what was happening.”
The source revealed staff protected him, adding: “They had the child off the lake and began the search before emergency services got there.
“I assume the boat drifted and she couldn't swim back to it.
“Nobody knew was a famous actress, she was in stealth mode.
“It’s terrible [what has happened] there have been multiple incidents and plenty of accidents, but nothing like this has happened in years."
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department began searching for a presumed drowning victim after responding to a report of a boy left alone on a boat at around 4.48pm, they said in a press release.
They later tweeted: "The missing person at Lake Piru has been identified as Naya Rivera, 33, of Los Angeles. SAR operation will continue at first light."
Divers searched the lake until nightfall, but were unable to find the actress, who starred in 113 episodes of the hit musical series from 2009 to 2015.
The little boy shortly before 5pm with sources telling TMZ that little Josey said that his mother had "jumped into the water but didn't come back up".
Source: Read Full Article