Glee star Naya Rivera is said to have died saving her four-year-old son when she went missing during a fishing trip.
The actress, who appeared in the musical TV series between 2009 and 2015, went missing late last week when she was out on a fishing trip with her four-year-old son Josey, who was found alone sleeping on a boat in the lake.
And after days of searching, divers found Naya’s body in Ventura County’s Lake Piru in California early yesterday.
Authorities have now revealed that it was likely that the star drowned after using up her energy saving her young son.
At a news conference yesterday, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said that they “believe she was concealed within some of the shrubbery on the floor bed of the lake” when they were searching for her.
“We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared,” he continued.
“The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back into the boat, but not enough to save herself”.
Four-year-old Josey reportedly told police that after they went swimming mum Naya “boosted him onto the deck of their rental boat from behind” before he “saw her disappear under surface of water”.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office sergeant Kevin Donoghue explained that they have no reason to suspect foul play or suicide, adding, “Everything that we’ve learned so far leads to this being some sort of water recreational accident.”
Glee stars tributes to Naya Rivera
Since the discovery of Naya’s body, emotional tributes from the actress’s Glee co-stars have been flooding in.
‘Rest sweet, Naya,’ wrote actress Jane Lynch. ‘What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.’
‘My favorite duet partner,’ co-star Amber Riley wrote in an Instagram post alongside a sweet video of Naya with son Josey. ‘I love you. I miss you. I don’t have words right now, just lots of feelings. Rest In Peace Angel, and know that your family will never have to worry about anything.’
‘She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun,’ Glee star Darren Criss alongside an Instagram photo.
‘I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends. She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn’t have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now.’
‘Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel.’
It’s not the first time the Glee cast have been hit by tragedy, as Puck actor Mark Salling passed away back in 2018 after protagonist Cory Monteith lost his life back in 2013, with yesterday also being the seven-year anniversary of his death.
Co-star and ex-girlfriend Lea Michele posted a series of moving black and white photos of both Cory and Naya on her Instagram stories yesterday, while Glee’s Kevin McHale, who was close friends with Naya, wrote an emotional tribute to the two on his Twitter account.
‘I’m not religious by any means, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory didn’t help find our girl today,’ he wrote alongside a video of the two in the midst of their Glee fame.
‘These 2, in many ways, were the male and female versions of one another. So nice, cared deeply, were stupidly talented, the most fun, and really really good people.’
Our thoughts are with all of Naya’s friends and family during this difficult time ❤️