Naya Rivera: 2020’s most chilling celebrity death

Saturday - 02/01/2021 09:35
Screenshot 2021 01 02 093819
Screenshot 2021 01 02 093819
Months after Glee star Naya Rivera’s death shocked the world, questions about why the young mum went into the river still remain.

The world has seen the chilling images of the final hours of Glee star Naya Rivera’s life but the photos give no clue to the biggest mystery surrounding that fateful day.

On July 8, the 33-year-old actress took her son Josey, 4, to Ventura County’s Lake Piru in Southern California and hired a boat.

CCTV footage shows the actress pulling up at the lake in her black Mercedes, before getting out of the car with her son, and boarding the boat they hired.

The 16-minute long CCTV footage of Rivera and her son on their way to the dock, and that is the last anyone would ever see of her.

The actress disappeared and her son was found alone in the boat. It took authorities six days to locate her body in the cold, deep water.

What will never be known is why Rivera headed out on the lake that day and why she decided to swim in the huge lake without a life jacket.

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Naya Rivera parked at this terminal before getting onto the boat. These are the last photos anybody had of her. Picture: Ventura County Sheriff's Office/YouTube.
Naya Rivera parked at this terminal before getting onto the boat. These are the last
photos anybody had of her. Picture: Ventura County Sheriff's Office/YouTube.Source:YouTube


The actress was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Parl in Los Angeles on July 24, as People reports, referencing the Glee’s star’s death certificate.

According to the document, the actress died within minutes and no other significant conditions seemed to contribute to her death.

Cast members from the TV Show Glee and friends comfort each other as they gathered on Lake Piru. Picture: Getty.

Cast members from the TV Show Glee and friends comfort each other as they gathered on Lake Piru. Picture: Getty.Source:Getty Images


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Her body was found in the same area where she went missing.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office later revealed on Twitter that an autopsy showed Rivera died from drowning, and was described as an “accident.” It was dental records used by authorities that helped identify the actress.

Coast Guard helicopter flies over Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing. Picture: Getty.
Coast Guard helicopter flies over Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing.
Picture: Getty.Source:Getty Images


RELATED: Final photo taken before Glee star disappeared

On July 8, the same day Rivera rented the boat and went missing, her son Josey was found alone on the boat by fellow boaters. He had Rivera’s purse, wallet and life jacket.

Naya and her son Josey. Picture: Getty.
Naya and her son Josey. Picture: Getty.Source:AFP


RELATED: Glee star pens emotional tribute to Naya Rivera

It is believed by police that Rivera’s unanchored boat drifted away from the actress and her son while they were swimming in the lake.

Venture County’s Sheriff Bill Ayub said that Rivera “mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself.”

“Her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind,” Ayub continued. “[Her son] told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”

According to the initial 911 call and reports from local authorities, the little boy recalled taking a swim with his mum on Wednesday afternoon local time, before returning to the vessel alone.

In the investigative report later obtained by People, Josey said that his mother had counted “1, 2, 3” as they jumped off the boat together to swim in the lake.

Rescuers on July 13 found a body at the California lake. Picture: AFP.
Rescuers on July 13 found a body at the California lake. Picture: AFP.Source:AFP


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“She helped him onto the boat and he then heard [Naya] yell ‘help’ and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water,” the investigative report states.

The report also outlined factors that may have contributed to Rivera’s mysterious death, which was been ruled as an accident. The actress suffered from vertigo – a condition that would get worse when she was in water.

Rivera “would have vertigo to the point of vomiting, but she learned to control the symptoms with antihistamines,” the report states, as per People. She had previously sought hospital treatment for the condition.

Rivera’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, 37, dedicated a post toward the actress following her death.

“This is so unfair … there’s not enough words to express the hole left in everyone’s hearts,” Dorsey, who was married to Rivera from 2014-2018, wrote. “I can’t believe this is life now. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe it.”

“You were just here,” he added, noting that Rivera and Josey had gone swimming at Dorsey’s house the day prior to her disappearance.

Naya and her ex-husband Ryan Dorsey. Picture: Getty.
Naya and her ex-husband Ryan Dorsey. Picture: Getty.Source:Getty Images


RELATED: Discovery of Rivera’s body coincides with Cory Monteith’s death

He continued: “I’m thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for.”

Come September and Dorsey had moved in with Rivera’s younger sister Nickayla Rivera, 25, to help care for his son.

The move sparked rumours among fans, who accused the pair of engaging in a romantic relationship.

Dorsey later took to Instagram to address the situation in an emotional video.

The actor revealed in the black-and-white video he was in disbelief he had to address “any of this nonsense.”

“I usually don’t read comments on my own stuff because I know how there can be 50 good things said and five negative ones. Somehow as humans we get those five negative ones stuck in our heads wondering how people could say certain things,” Ryan said.

“S*** man, I wish I was worried about a relationship right now. Not thinking about this and living with this every day,” Ryan said.

“I think to myself how lucky I am to still have my mom and still have her help out in my life still,” he shared.

“Then I think about how he won’t have that same opportunity in his future. It makes me beyond sad. I ask myself why? What did he do to deserve this? I know he didn’t do anything to deserve this, but the things people have said are sad,” he said.

He explained to his fans that he told Josey that Naya was in heaven, and he replied, “Well, I want to go there. How do I get there?”

“I wouldn’t wish that upon any of your ears to have to hear those words come out of the sweetest soul you know,” he added.

Nickayla and Naya Rivera. Picture: Instagram.
Nickayla and Naya Rivera. Picture: Instagram.Source:Instagram


RELATED: Rivera’s heartbroken family visit where she went missing

He also explained how it was Josey who asked for Nickayla to move in with them.

“[Josey] asks me if Titi can live with us. ‘I want Titi to live with us forever,’ because she’s now the closest thing he has to a mom. You’re going to need all the help you can get as a single parent trying to build your career and navigate this disaster with your child,” Ryan said.

While “it’s temporary and it’s not forever,” Dorsey wanted to give Josey the family he was asking for.

He praised Nickayla for everything she had done to help.

“To have a young woman who is his blood, his Titi, who is willing to put her life on hold and sacrifice things, uproot her situation for the betterment of your child,” Ryan said.

“So when you put your child to bed you don’t always have to be alone with your thoughts and you don’t have to be sad any day or night wondering when does it get better. At least you have someone there with you to talk to or just sit in silence and be sad with. You don’t have to deal with being completely alone,” he said.

Ryan ended his video hoping others will “think twice before they go insert their opinion and jump to conclusions. Think about sending people DM’s wishing death upon strangers who are dealing with so much that they know absolutely zero about”.

In November, Dorsey filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of his son Josey, alleging the boat she was on didn’t comply with safety standards.


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