Amber Riley asks fans to 'focus' on Naya Rivera, other Glee alumni 'don't matter right now'
Riley, who has not publicly addressed the situation since the news broke, told fans on Sunday to focus on finding the star and not on how she and fellow castmates are grieving.
"Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family," Riley tweeted. "No one owes anyone online a performance of grief. This is very real and devastating. Focus on Naya and her family. Not us. We don’t matter right now."
The search for Rivera, 33, continues after the star disappeared on July 8 in Lake Piru in Southern Calif., where she was boating and swimming with her 4-year-old son, who was later found alone in their rented pontoon boat by lake staff. Riley played Mercedes Jones opposite Rivera's Santana Lopez in the hit Fox series' from the very beginning.
Kevin McHale, who played Artie Abrams on Glee, tweeted in agreement with Riley and asked fans to "refrain from judging those who don’t show their pain on social media."
Some of Rivera's other Glee castmates, including Harry Shum Jr. and Lauren Potter, have tweeted prayers for her to be found. Heather Morris, who played Santana's best friend-turned-wife Brittany Pierce on the show, even offered to help with the search.
Rivera's mother, Yolanda Rivera, father George, brother Mychal, and her ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, have been spotted at the lake searching for the actress.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning to anyone "intent on searching for Naya Rivera," saying the conditions around Lake Piru are dangerous.
"1. The lake is closed. 2. Temps are already in the 90’s. 3. The terrain around the lake is very steep and rugged. Our teams are well equipped and highly trained. We don’t want to have to rescue you," the sheriff's office tweeted.
Authorities released a statement the day following Rivera's disappearance saying that she is presumed dead. Speaking with People on Sunday, Sgt. Shannon King said that "there’s no evidence to say she left the water" and "it appears to be 100 percent just a tragic drowning."
King said investigators will continue to comb the area “at least through Tuesday.”
Rivera's son Josey was found on the scene asleep in their rented pontoon boat, where he says him mom entered the water but never returned. Authorities have said that Josey is "in good health" and has since reunited with Dorsey.
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