Sgt. Kevin Donoghue said the lake's 'terrible' visibility is why the search is 'complicated.'
Naya Rivera's body may never be found. In a press conference on Thursday, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue discussed how Lake Piru's "terrible" visibility is affecting the search for the former Glee actress, who went missing on July 8 after taking a boat ride with her 4-year-old son, Josey. Rivera's son was found safe on the boat.
"In 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 it makes it a more complicated search," Donoghue explained. "If the body is entangled in something beneath the water, it may never come back up. We don't know."
Diver Max O'Brien also addressed the media and gave further insight into how difficult their search efforts have been.
"The visibility is about one to two feet and then in some clearings it's up to three to five. There's a lot of tree branches and overgrowth from when the lake was lower, so we're digging through, breaking through sticks and searching a heavy brush bottom," O'Brien said. "Under the water, it's a lot by feel. Again, there's a lot of shrubbery and sticks that we have to break through as we're going through, so it's kind of a Braille search."
Though the search is a difficult one, Donoghue said that his team is "putting forth our best foot forward to try and locate her."
"We're using all the assets that are available to us. We're using technology like sonar. We have experts who have dove this lake, that know it inside and out, that know where debris pockets might be," he said. "We're relying on their expertise to help us in that endeavor. We're going to do everything that we can to find her. We're going to continue to search."
While the search is ongoing now, Donoghue said that it won't continue indefinitely.
"Those that are responsible for managing the overall search, they may get to a point in time where they've expelled every resource, they've searched every area, the probability of detection, of finding someone in a particular area, they've exhausted," he said. "When we get to that point, that's when they would probably have to suspend the search."
"But we're not there yet," he added.
Watch the video below for more on Rivera's disappearance.