Naya Rivera dead at 33 as body is identified as Glee star

14 July 2020, 07:21

Naya Rivera's body was found on the shore of Lake Piru
Naya Rivera's body was found on the shore of Lake Piru. Picture: Instagram-Naya Rivera/ PA
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Glee star Naya Rivera's body was found on Monday in California, five days after she went missing.

Naya Rivera has died at the age of 33.

The actress, who was best known for playing Santana Lopez in Glee, went missing on Wednesday last week after going boating with her son.

Josey, who is four-years-old, was found alone and asleep on the boat after his mum "disappeared beneath the water".

Naya Rivera, 33, died after taking a boat out with her son, Josey
Naya Rivera, 33, died after taking a boat out with her son, Josey. Picture: Instagram/Naya Rivera

On Monday, Sheriff Bill Ayub of the Ventura County Sheriff Department said they were "confident" the body they found on the shore of Lake Piru was Naya.

He said that there was "no indication of foul play" or suicide.

The authorities have been searching for the actress for days now, after their search and rescue mission turned into a search and recovery operation.

Police said Naya mustered energy to get her son back on the boat
Police said Naya mustered energy to get her son back on the boat. Picture: Instagram/Naya Rivera

The police said that they believed Naya "mustered enough energy" to get her son back onto the boat when it started drifting, but "not enough to save herself".

Josey is reported to have told police that he and his mum went swimming and while he got back onto the boat, "his mum never made it out of the water".

Fans of the Glee actress have been paying their respects
Fans of the Glee actress have been paying their respects. Picture: PA

During an announcement made by the police, Sheriff Ayub said: "We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey.

"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.

"Our hearts go out to her family, friends and fans during this difficult time. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of her death."

Tributes have been pouring out online for the actress from fans, friends and co-stars.