Five days after Naya Rivera went missing while on a boating trip with her son, the Glee actress is confirmed to be dead at the age of 33. During a Monday press conference, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said that Rivera was found in Lake Piru during the ongoing recovery mission to locate her body. She was discovered on the morning of July 13. “We are confident that the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” a sheriff explained. “She was found in the northeastern portion of the lake, near the surface of the water.” The department also confirmed that there was “no indication of foul play” and “no indication that this was a suicide.” An autopsy will be performed on Rivera’s body.
“We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey,” the sheriff added. “It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.” When a reporter inquired about the circumstances leading up to Rivera’s death, the sheriff speculated: “The idea perhaps being the boat started drifting — it was unanchored — and she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not to save herself.”
As previously reported, Rivera went missing on July 9 while boating with her 4-year-old son, Josey, in the California lake. The child, who was wearing a life vest when discovered floating alone on their rented pontoon boat, told authorities that Rivera didn’t return when they went for a swim. An adult life jacket was discovered on the boat, which lead investigators to believe that Rivera drowned in a “tragic accident.” In the subsequent days, the search for the actress was hindered by dangerous water conditions.
Update, July 15: An autopsy by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office released on July 14 confirmed Rivera’s death was an accidental drowning. “The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged,” the report said. “No traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified at autopsy. There is no indication from the investigation or examination that drugs or alcohol played a role in the decedent’s death, but specimens will be submitted for toxicology testing.”