The cast of Glee gathered at Lake Piru after Naya Rivera‘s body was found in the water on Monday, July 13. In a photo shared by ABC7 Eyewitness News, Rivera’s loved ones held hands as they looked out toward the lake. The actress was confirmed dead by authorities during a press conference that same day in Ventura County, California.
“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,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Official Sheriff Bill Ayub confirmed.
Many of Rivera’s cast members from the iconic musical show have also taken to social media to send their condolences. “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family,” Jane Lynch wrote. Heather Morris even asked the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department if she could join the search and recovery efforts on July 11.
Some Glee stars have remained quiet on social media during this devastating time, and Amber Riley defended their silence after some started receiving backlash from fans. “Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family. No one owes anyone online a performance of grief. This is very real and devastating,” she tweeted. “Focus on Naya and her family. Not us. We don’t matter right now.”
Life & Style confirmed Rivera was reported missing on July 8, after surveillance footage showed the actress departing the dock on a rented pontoon boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey. Hours later, Josey was found alone but safe on the boat by a rental shop employee.
“The son said they were in the water swimming together. He came up and got back up on the boat, but she did not,” Captain Eric Buschow, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, told In Touch following the news. “He was found on the boat by a passerby. He was found fast asleep on the boat by himself.”
The law enforcement official added, “There is a high likelihood that the singer drowned.” On July 9, the authorities said via Twitter the search for Rivera turned from a rescue mission to a “recovery effort,” as she was presumed dead.
“These big reservoirs, there is a lot that goes on. There are plenty of currents,” Buschow noted. “People drown in California lakes every year.”
Rivera shared her only child with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey. “Josey is what Naya lived for every single day, he was her everything,” a source exclusively told Life & Style about the Devious Maids star and her toddler. “They were so adorable together, she would smother him with kisses 24/7 if she could. They were such a team. Josey literally changed Naya’s life for the better. Everything she did was for Josey.”
Our thoughts are with Rivera’s family and loved ones.