Authorities Say Naya Rivera Used Final Moments to Save Her Son

"She mustered enough energy to get her son back into the boat, but not enough to save herself," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub told reporters on Monday.

naya rivera death

Image via Getty

naya rivera death

Following the discovery of Naya Rivera’s body on Monday, new details regarding the actress’ death are coming to light. 

As BuzzFeed reports, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub revealed more information regarding Rivera’s drowning at Lake Piru during a press conference Monday. An autopsy performed by the Ventura County Medical Examiner determined Rivera died of an accidental drowning. Rivera went missing after going to the lake with her 4-year-old son Josey on July 8. Her son was later found alone in a boat, along with a life jacket that was believed to be Rivera’s. 

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

Ayub went on to explain how the 33-year-old actress likely used the last of her energy to save Josey. 

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

After Rivera’s tragic death was confirmed on Monday, the actress’Glee co-stars and other celebrities paid tribute to her online. Her death also motivated locals in Ventura County to petition for more protection for swimmers.

“My favorite duet partner. I love you. I miss you,” former co-star Amber Riley wrote in a post featuring Rivera singing a duet with her son Josey. “I don’t have words right now, just lots of feelings. Rest In Peace Angel, and know that your family will never have to worry about anything.” 

A college fund for Naya's son Josey is also being established by the creators of Glee. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan shared their announcement on Tuesday, saying they "are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all."

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