Officials have ruled out foul play in the death of 33-year old Glee star Naya Rivera in California lake where she drowned last week during a boat trip with her four-year-old son.
“Rivera’s body was retrieved and an initial examination found no evidence of foul play or suicide,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said in a press conference.
“We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” said Ayub, referring to the location, appearance, clothing and condition of the body.
Her body was being taken to a medical examiner’s office for a full autopsy and confirmation of her identity from dental records, though no other missing persons have been reported at Lake Piru, he added.
Naya Rivera was best known for her breakthrough role as Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee which aired from 2009 to 2015. For the role, she received numerous awards and critical acclaims including Best Supporting Actress from ALMA Awards and My TV Awards.
Rivera mustered energy to save son
According to Ayub, Rivera used the last of her strength to save her 4-year-old son before she died.
Her son was found asleep on the rental pontoon boat after it was overdue for return.
The son later told investigators that Rivera had helped him into the boat before “he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water”, the Sheriff added.
Glee stars no stranger to tragic deaths
Mark Salling (also known as Puck Puckerman in Glee) died in a suicide by hanging in 2018, weeks before he was to be sentenced on charges of possessing child pornography.
On July 13, 2013, another Glee star Cory Montieth, best known for his role as Finn Hudson, was found dead in a hotel room in Canada in an apparent overdose of drugs and alcohol.
Incidentally, the discovery of Naya Rivera’s body early Monday coincides with Cory Montieth’s death anniversary.
Fans from all over the world and other Glee stars have expressed grief and took to social media to mourn Rivera’s untimely death.