Former “Glee” star Naya Rivera has been pronounced dead after her body was found in Lake Piru. She died from a drowning accident.
On Tuesday, the Ventura County Medical Examiner detailed the results of an autopsy of the actress’ body. The statement obtained by Entertainment Tonight confirms the cause of death was determined to be accidental drowning, with the autopsy finding no indication that alcohol or drugs played a role.
The autopsy reveals: “The circumstances and visual characteristics all indicated that the body was that of Naya Rivera and the identity has been confirmed by dental comparison. The body has been X-rayed and a full autopsy has been performed. The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged.”
And “no traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified” and there is no evidence that drugs or alcohol played a role in her death.
An extensive search has been underway at Lake Piru following the 33-year-old actress’ disappearance while boating with her 4-year-old son on Wednesday, July 8. Her son was found alone on a boat the two had rented, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.
“We are confident the body found is of Naya Rivera,” the sheriff’s office said, adding there was “no foul play.” The body will now be sent to the coroner where a positive match will be made through dental records.
Rivera’s son confirmed that his mom pushed him back in the boat and “watched her sink into the water” after they went for a swim.
They have yet to confirm until a more detailed autopsy happens but assume she was trapped in the brush at the bottom of the lake. Her body has since “floated to the surface” where search teams were able to then find her.
After a five-day search, divers recovered a body on Monday morning. Authorities would not immediately say if the person found was Rivera, but said the day after she disappeared that they believed she drowned in the lake northwest of Los Angeles.
A body has been found at Lake Piru this morning. The recovery is in progress. There will be a news conference at 2 pm at the lake
— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 13, 2020
Search crews found the body floating in the northeast area of the lake and the county medical examiner was notified, authorities said.
The lake an hour’s drive from Los Angeles was searched by dozens of divers working in waters with little visibility, with help above from helicopters, drones and all-terrain vehicles.
The tributes poured in, remembering Rivera including ones remembering Rivera and Cory Monteith that she sent to E! News after deleting her Twitter.
Shared by Lea Michele. pic.twitter.com/vmoDqpzd2m
— E! News (@enews) July 13, 2020
As a new parent, this hits me so fuc*ing hard. Naya. What a hero. https://t.co/BplipM7ZLt
— Max Adler (@Mr_Max_Adler) July 13, 2020
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How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t. Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark. She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor. Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be. 💔 Sending all my love to her wonderful family and her beautiful son.
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
This is absolutely heartbreaking. Sending love and holding space for her son and loved ones. https://t.co/7RkKnj4xU7
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) July 13, 2020
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Can’t believe I’m writing this. My heart. So many emotions. So many memories. My mind did not want to accept this. My sweet Naya. I love you. Will always love you. I’ll never forget your sweet smile, your amazing voice, and your warmth and love that has always welcomed me. I knew as early as 9 years old you were going to grace us with so much talent and so much beauty. I’m so grateful to have been blessed with your presence for over 20 years. You took my breath away and always will. Another angel has gained her wings. My heart goes out to the Rivera family.
Beautiful Naya Rivera, Rest In Peace. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones. You will be missed & never forgotten. ❤️
— Becky G. (@iambeckyg) July 13, 2020
I didn’t know Naya personally, but I admired her as an artist. I’m so devastated by the news – a true talent lost far too soon. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to her family. 💞 XoP #RipNayaRivera
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) July 13, 2020
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) July 13, 2020
Absolutely devastating news about Naya Rivera. Beautiful inside and out. You will be missed greatly. RIP Naya. Thoughts with all her friends and family at this awful time.
— Max George (@MaxGeorge) July 13, 2020
What a horribly heavy day… rest peacefully Naya. My best wishes to her family and friends 💔
— Sarah Jeffery (@sarahjeffery) July 13, 2020
RIP sweet naya
— Ashley Benson (@AshBenzo) July 13, 2020
Heartbreaking. Rest in love Naya Rivera. As a mother to a 3 year old boy, I felt your love through the pictures and videos you shared. A bond like no other. My sincere condolences to her entire family and her friends and especially that sweet little boy. #nayariviera
— 📎Lesley-Ann Brandt (@LesleyAnnBrandt) July 13, 2020
Thank you for what you gave the world. I love you. pic.twitter.com/CFNmwgtSva
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) July 13, 2020
Naya Rivera was truly a light and showed us all how to be unapologetically ourselves. We send our most heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and fans in this difficult time. Rest in peace, #NayaRivera pic.twitter.com/jmkJRFXMKs
— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) July 13, 2020
RIP Naya. pic.twitter.com/RG0T4NQYO2
— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) July 14, 2020
Beautiful memories boricua. RIP. pic.twitter.com/mhqUEJh8rq
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) July 14, 2020
7 years ago today, she and I were together in London when we found out about Cory. We were so far away, but I was so thankful that we had each other. A week ago today we were talking about running away to Hawaii. This doesn’t make sense. And I know it probably never will.
— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 14, 2020
RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted (at the time) queer girls like me, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world. pic.twitter.com/oCML03M9Kw
— Team Demi (@ddlovato) July 14, 2020
She played by her own rules and was in a class of her own. She had a brashness about her that I couldn’t help but be enchanted by. I also always loved her voice, and savored every chance I got to hear her sing. I think she had more talent than we would have ever been able to see.
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) July 14, 2020
And even as I sit here, struggling to comprehend, gutted beyond description- the very thought of her cracks me up and still brings a smile to my face. That was Naya’s gift.
And it's a gift that will never go away.
Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel.
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) July 14, 2020
Naya Rivera was hilarious. She lit up the set. She was the definition of cool. pic.twitter.com/lDZAbtt6P9
— Mike O'Malley (@TheMikeOMalley) July 14, 2020
~ With Files From The Associated Press