Son reveals Glee star’s final moments ​

Monday - 13/07/2020 18:47
The body of missing former Glee star Naya Rivera has been found. Picture: Emma McIntyre/GettySource:Getty Images
The body of missing former Glee star Naya Rivera has been found. Picture: Emma McIntyre/GettySource:Getty Images
Police have revealed tragic details about the death of Glee star Naya Rivera whose body was today found in a Californian lake.

Tragic details have been revealed about the death of Naya Rivera, whose body was found in a Californian lake today.

The Glee star’s body was found in Lake Piru, six days after she vanished after renting a boat with her four-year-old son and going swimming.

“Based on the location where the body was found, physical characteristics of the body, clothing found on the body and the physical condition of the body, as well as the absence of any other persons reported missing in the area, we are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” the Ventura County Sheriff said at a press conference this morning.
 

Naya Rivera. Picture: Valerie Macon/AFP
Naya Rivera. Picture: Valerie Macon/AFPSource:AFP


 

Police pictured at Lake Piru shortly before announcing a body had been found. Picture: KTLA
Police pictured at Lake Piru shortly before announcing a body had been found. Picture: KTLASource:Supplied
 


Rivera rented a pontoon boat on the lake, which lies inland 100km northeast of Los Angeles, at about 1pm last Wednesday with her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey.

“We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey,” the sheriff said today. “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.”

Police have speculated that Rivera saved her son when the pair got caught in a current while swimming.

“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particular in the afternoon,” the sheriff said. “We believe it was midafternoon when she disappeared. The idea being perhaps that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself.”

When the boat was late to return to the rental company, a leasing agent went searching and found Rivera’s son asleep on board as the boat was adrift on the lake.

Rivera’s body was found today in the same area where she went missing. It floated to the surface of the water after the body filled with gas due to decomposition.

“Detectives from our major crimes bureau began working this case from the onset,” the sheriff said. “Their work on this case revealed there was no indication of foul play and no indication this was a suicide.”

Rivera’s body has been taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy and her dental records will be examined to provide a positive identification.

 

Naya Rivera and son Josey Hollis Dorsey. Picture: Chris Delmas / AFP
Naya Rivera and son Josey Hollis Dorsey. Picture: Chris Delmas / AFPSource:AFP


FRIENDS AND FAMILY MOURN

Heather Morris, who played Rivera’s love interest on Glee, joined the star’s family members at the lake.

A photo shows Morris and several other Glee stars holding hands and looking out onto the lake where Rivera went missing.

“It has been an extremely difficult time for her family throughout this ordeal,” the sheriff said today. “Our hearts are with them and we share in their grief for Naya’s loss.”

RELATED: Final photo taken before Glee star disappeared

 

Glee star Heather Morris mourns with Naya Rivera's family at Lake Piru. Picture: KABC
Glee star Heather Morris mourns with Naya Rivera's family at Lake Piru.
Picture: KABCSource:Supplied
 

THE SEARCH

About 50 sheriff’s personnel, along with a helicopter, boat crews, divers, and unmanned aerial vehicles searched the lake for five hours on the day Rivera went missing. However, the murky water full of plants and debris hampered searchers.

The search resumed on Thursday with the help of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the US Coast Guard officers.

By the afternoon of the next day the Sheriff announced there was no hope of finding Rivera alive and the rescue mission was now a recovery operation.

RELATED: Naya Rivera’s heartbroken family visit lake

RELATED: Glee co-star’s desperate plea amid search

 

Naya Rivera. Picture: Emma McIntyre/Getty
Naya Rivera. Picture: Emma McIntyre/GettySource:Getty Images

Dozens of officers searched the lake, which has strong currents and debris and plants hampering visibility and diving. Picture: Amy Sussman/Getty
Dozens of officers searched the lake, which has strong currents and debris
and plants hampering visibility and diving. Picture: Amy Sussman/GettySource:Getty Images
 

At least eight people have drowned in Lake Piru over the last 25 years,

Rivera played high school cheerleader Santana Lopez in the Fox television series Glee between 2009 and 2015, appearing in 113 episodes.

She gave birth to her son while married to actor Ryan Dorsey, before the couple divorced in 2018.

In her 2016 memoir Sorry Not Sorry, she called her son “my greatest success, and I will never do any better than him”.

Rivera’s death is the latest tragedy in what’s been called “The Glee curse” which has seen two other Glee stars die.

Cory Monteith overdosed on heroin and alcohol in a hotel room in 2013 and, five years later, Mark Sailing took his own life after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

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