KEY POINTS

  • Naya Rivera's snap of her son that was sent to a relative was instrumental in the search operations
  • She took a photo of her 4-year-old child on the boat by a cove
  • The cove became the starting point of the search before it was expanded 

Naya Rivera’s body was found in Lake Piru on Monday, nearly a week after the actress disappeared and her son was found alone in their rented boat. While nobody knows what transpired during her final moments, the “Glee” star’s text message to a relative helped in the search operations for the actress, a report said.

Rivera sent a photo of her 4-year-old son, Josey, to a relative, and this became a crucial element in helping the authorities in their mission. Diver Robert Inglis of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office search & rescue team told Us Weekly that the image showed the “boy on the boat by a cove.”

“We found where that cove was,” Inglis said on Sunday.

Rivera reportedly took the photo around 90 minutes to 2 hours before her son was found on the boat sleeping with a life vest on, Page Six stated. The authorities used the background of the image as a starting point of the search, Inglis said.

“We did send our dive members to those two locations and searched those extensively,” Inglis added.

In most cases, there are many witnesses “who see someone jumping off a boat so we know which area to search and we can find the body more quickly.” However, in Rivera’s case, no one came forward.

“In this case, it really could be the whole lake. There are a lot of coves that have to be searched,” Inglis said.

The team of divers used sonar equipment to find the body of Rivera, who was best known for her role as Santana in “Glee.” A body was discovered on Monday in Lake Piru in an area that’s between 35 and 60 feet deep and was later identified as the actress, CNN reported.

The mother and son rented a boat on July 8, but three hours after they failed to return the watercraft, the staff went to check on their whereabouts. The child, who was found alone, said Rivera went swimming but didn’t get back on the boat.

The boy was wearing a life vest, and authorities found another one on the boat, leading them to believe that Rivera wasn’t wearing one when she went out to swim.

US actress Naya Rivera had posted a photo of her and son Josey Hollis Dorsey on social media shortly before she disappeared US actress Naya Rivera with son Josey. Photo: AFP / Chris Delmas