'Glee' star Naya Rivera died from drowning, autopsy rules

Carla Harmon
July 15, 2020

In the official statement released to Deadline, the Glee star's family thanked the world for "the outpouring of love" as they mourn the loss of their 'beautiful legend'.

Sergeant Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department speaks during a press conference at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing, in Piru, Calif., on July 9, 2020.

The creators of "Glee" also released a statement in tribute to Rivera Tuesday, announcing that they would be creating a college fund for her son and remembering her as a joyful and immensely talented performer.

"We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week", the statement reads.

In it, they thanked family, friends and fans for their support, and honored Rivera's "everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit".

"Naya was an wonderful talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister", they said.

The Tony Award-winning actress and singer spoke out on her Instagram Story on Monday (July 13) following the confirmation that Naya's body was recovered at Lake Piru.

The family concluded, "Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very hard time".

Lake Piru park rangers found Rivera's body floating near the surface of the water in an area that is 35 to 60ft deep. On Monday, search and rescue teams found a body they believe to be Rivera's, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged.

"No traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified at the autopsy".

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said there was nothing to indicate any foul play took place or that she died by suicide.

Naya Rivera's family have broken their silence on their loved one's tragic death, after it was recently confirmed that the star died by accidental drowning.

Her son was found asleep and drifting in the boat some three hours after Rivera rented it at the popular recreational hotspot around an hour's drive northwest of Los Angeles.

For Lauryn Alisa McClain, who starred in the first season, Rivera was a "bright light for me when I was in a dark place", she says.

Rivera shared 4-year-old Josey with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey.

The lake is now closed, however her family and co-stars have since visited to mourn the loss of their friend. Her body was found seven years after the death of another Glee cast member, Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson.

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