The call sparked fears the Glee star has drowned after a panicked caller described a “child alone” in a boat with the mother “nowhere to be seen”. Ventura County Sheriff’s Department has shared the audio of the call following the news that Naya Rivera is now officially presumed dead.
Glee star Naya is missing presumed dead after she hired a boat to go out onto Lake Piru, 56 miles north of central Los Angeles.
The actress was spotted alongside her son Josey, who told police his mother had jumped into the water.
More than 100 people are now involved in the search and recovery operation.
Police received the call from a woman whose husband was the first to find the boy alone in the boat, floating on the lake.
Police have released the chilling 911 call made by the person who found Naya Rivera’s son in a boat
It is feared that Naya has drowned and police have admitted that the search could take weeks and that her body may never be found.
In the 911 call audio, a woman’s voice is heard to say she is calling from Lake Piru before describing the scene.
She says: “The emergency is we found a little girl in a boat all by herself and her mom is nowhere to be found.”
The caller is asked “White, Black, Asian or Hispanic?” to which they reply, “I have no idea, I’m heading down there right now — my husband was one of people who was first there and I’m going to go find out more information.
“He just told me to call it in.”
The 911 dispatcher then asks: “Boy or girl?”
The woman replies: “I believe it is a little girl.”
The confusion here may have come from the four-year-old boy having long and curly hair.
When asked how old the child is, the woman replied: “Like I said I have no idea, I’m heading down there now.”
Sgt Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office told a news briefing at the lake side: “We have recovered video evidence from the dock that shows Ms Rivera and her son being the only two people getting onboard the boat.
“We’ve had no indication after talking to her son that Ms Rivera made it to shore. So the focus of our search efforts are in the water at this time.”
He added that Josey “gave enough information to investigators to conclude that his mother never made it out of the water.”
Police have said Josey’s father, Ryan Dorsey, has rushed to the area to be with his son as Naya’s family anxiously await news.
The mission has been made increasingly difficult as rescuers battle harsh conditions.
The depth of the lake differs greatly, officer Chris Dyer said, saying it can go from between 50-60ft to 4ft over a short distance.
Visibility in the lake during the daytime is about eight to 10 inches, while sizeable debris including trees flow beneath the surface, police said.