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Naya Rivera spent final moments saving her son, officials say

The actress was tragically confirmed dead yesterday (July 13) after her body was found in a lake.

Naya Rivera Getty

Naya Rivera was tragically confirmed dead yesterday (July 13) after her body was found in Lake Piru. Investigators say the former “Glee” star went for a swim while boating with her 4-year-old son and could have been overpowered by a current.

“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub shared in a press conference on Monday (July 13) after confirming that a body found in the lake belonged to Rivera.

“The idea perhaps being 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,” he continued.

As previously reported by REVOLT, Rivera rented out a boat with her son Josey Hollis Dorsey around 1 p.m. PST on July 8. Boaters found the child asleep alone on the boat a few hours later and immediately alerted authorities. An intensive search began to find Rivera, including boat scans of the lake and shoreline and a citizen-led search and rescue team.

Tragically, after speaking with Josey, investigators learned that Rivera helped her son get back to the boat but was unable to save herself.

“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,” Sheriff Ayub added. “He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”

Tributes to the late actress have poured in from friends and former co-stars on social media. “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were,” tweeted actress Jane Lynch, who worked with Rivera on “Glee.” “Love and peace to your family.”

“My sweet Naya. I love you. Will always love you. I’ll never forget your sweet smile, your amazing voice and your warmth and love that has always welcomed me,” Tia Mowry wrote on Instagram. “I knew as early as 9 years old you were going to grace us with so much talent and so much beauty. I’m so grateful to have been blessed with your presence for over 20 years. You took my breath away and always will. Another angel has gained her wings. My heart goes out to the Rivera family.”

Rivera’s body will be identified through dental records by the Ventura County Coroner’s Office. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said they are “confident” the body is hers and that there is no indication of foul play or suicide.

The REVOLT team continues to send our condolences to Rivera’s family, friends and colleagues at this time.

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