Naya Rivera Used Last Of Her Energy To Save Her Son Say Police

by : Emily Brown on : 14 Jul 2020 10:00
Naya Rivera Used Last Of Her Energy To Save Her Son Say PoliceNaya Rivera Used Last Of Her Energy To Save Her Son Say PolicePA Images

Police believe Glee star Naya Rivera used the last of her energy to save her son before she died in a California lake. 

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office discovered a body during their search of Lake Piru yesterday, July 13, and it was later confirmed to be the 33-year-old actor.


Rivera and her four-year-old son Josey, rented a boat on the lake on Wednesday, July 8. Police were alerted to the fact Rivera was missing when Josey was found alone in the boat long after it was due to be returned.

Josey told rescuers he and his mother had gone into the water to swim, but said she did not get back into the boat. An adult-sized life jacket was found in the vessel and Josey said he saw his mother disappear under the surface of the water.

During a press conference following the discovery of Rivera’s body, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub shared some of the police’s theories about her final moments, speculating that she did everything in her power to make sure her son was safe, People reports.


Ayub explained:

We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared.

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.

Police said there is no evidence of foul play or suicide in Rivera’s death. They found her body near the surface of the water in an area of the lake which is 35–60ft deep.


Ayub added:

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 in for Rivera since her body was discovered, and her Glee co-stars paid their respects by visiting the lake where she spent her final moments.


Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel on the show, described Rivera’s brilliance and humour as ‘unmatched’, and her beauty and talent as ‘otherworldly’.

He added:

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.


Josey is Rivera’s only child, who she shared with her ex-husband and actor Ryan Dorsey.

Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this tragic time. Rest in peace.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, California, Glee, Naya Rivera, Now


  1. People

    Naya Rivera 'Mustered Enough Energy' to Get Son on Boat but 'Not Enough to Save Herself': Police