Already have an account?
Get back to the

Naya Rivera Dead: ‘Glee’ Alum Dies at 33 After Tragic Accident at Lake Piru

Actress Naya Rivera is dead, days after being declared missing on Wednesday, July 8, following a boating incident. She was 33.

Related: Celebrity Deaths in 2020: Stars We've Lost

The actress’ body was recovered from Lake Piru near Los Angeles, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department announced in a press conference on Monday, July 13.

The Glee alum was reported missing after a boater on Lake Piru in Los Angeles found Rivera’s 4-year-old son, Josey, asleep on a pontoon boat that the pair had rented earlier in the day, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to Us at the time. Rivera’s purse, wallet and ID were found on the boat.

Naya Rivera Dead After Tragic Accident
Naya Rivera at the Libertine show, Front Row, on April 29, 2019. Lauren/WWD/Shutterstock

During the press conference, Sheriff William Ayub revealed that Rivera’s son shared that his mother helped boost him into the boat after they were swimming in the water. He looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.

Related: Naya Rivera Through the Years: ‘Glee,’ Motherhood and More

“As you can imagine, it has been an extremely difficult time for her family,” he said. “There is no indication of foul play and no indication this was a suicide.”

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Eric Buschow spoke with Us following the news of her disappearance. “We were notified and the search began,” he said. “Helicopters immediately flew out with the dive team and put divers in the water where she was last seen,”

Related: 'Glee' Cast Reacts to Naya Rivera's Death

Josey, whom Rivera shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, was found wearing a life vest on, authorities confirmed.

“There was another vest on board the boat for an adult, so it looks like she was not wearing a vest,” Buschow added. “The son said they were in the water swimming together. He came up and got back up on the boat, but she did not.”

Naya Rivera Dead Josey
Naya Rivera and son Josey Hollis Dorsey at ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ Film Premiere in 2019. Shutterstock

The search included helicopters, county fire, rangers, Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives and divers. Bushchow also told Us at the time that there was no indication of foul play and that the preliminary investigation shows that it was an accident.

Related: 'Glee' Cast: Where Are They Now?

Rivera is best known for her role as Santana Lopez, a character she played from 2009 to 2015 on Fox’s Glee. Following the end of the musical comedy, she landed a recurring role on Lifetime’s Devious Maids and was cast as the lead in YouTube’s Step Up TV series in 2018. The show was moved to Starz and renewed for a third season in May 2020.

In addition to acting, Rivera released a single, “Sorry,” with then-boyfriend Big Sean in 2013 and published a memoir titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up in 2016.

In this article

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!