Naya Rivera dies at age 33

Grace Clancy, Staff Writer

American actress, model, and singer, Naya Rivera was with her son at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California on July 8 when they rented a boat and took it out on the water. A day later Rivera was reported missing and presumed dead after her son was found alone on the boat. After six days of searching, Rivera’s body was found in the northeast area of the lake and she was confirmed dead. 

Suspicions arose when Rivera’s 4-year-old son, Josey, was found by staff sleeping alone in a life jacket on the rented boat at the northern side of the lake. Josey told authorities he and his mother had jumped off the pontoon boat together before Rivera told him to get back on the boat upon entering the water. Rivera used the last of her strength to help her son get back aboard the boat. She called for help before disappearing into the water according to Josey.

Dive teams and sonar technology were used in the search for Rivera in the days following her reported disappearance; however, the efforts were deemed complicated with the murky conditions of the lake. On July 13 the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office informed the public that a body had been found in the lake. It was identified as Rivera and the document, filed in Ventura County, confirms Rivera’s death as an accidental drowning and that she died within a matter of minutes. She was buried July 24 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. 

Rivera was best known for her work in the Fox show Glee. She played the role of Santana Lopez from 2009 until the end of the show in 2015, making an appearance in almost every episode. She also acted in the CBS sitcom The Royal Family and more recently had starred in the television series Step Up.