Saying goodbye. Glee stars Dot-Marie Jones, Iqbal Theba and Brad Ellis visited Lake Piru in memoriam of costar Naya Rivera on July 17, four days after the actress was confirmed dead at the Ventura County, California reservoir following her disappearance.
Theba, 56, who played Principal Figgins on the hit Fox series, shared a video clip of the memorial site featuring the late singer’s photo surrounded by flowers and candles. “Went to see her with my friends @dotmariejones [and] @BradEllisPiano,” he wrote alongside her name and red heart emojis. Jones, 56, played Coach Shannon Beiste on the show and Ellis, 55, played glee club pianist Brad.
— iqbal theba (@iqbaltheba) July 17, 2020
On Wednesday, July 8, Rivera and her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey, rented a pontoon boat for an outing together around 1 p.m. Hours later, the child, whom Rivera shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, was found asleep but unharmed in the boat by himself. The boat rental shop employee who found the boy immediately called park rangers to initiate a search effort.
Over the course of a five-day search, the rescue mission became a recovery mission. “Investigators believe Rivera drowned in what appears to be a tragic accident,” Captain Eric Buschow told Life & Style on July 9. The law enforcement spokesman cited the “choppy” water conditions and the fact that Rivera had not been wearing her life jacket.
On July 13, the Glee actress was confirmed dead after a search party recovered her body from the lake. Her cause of death was determined as accidental drowning, according to the autopsy results which were released one day after her passing was confirmed.
Countless past costars shared their thoughts and tributes for Rivera in the days following her death, including Jones. She penned a touching post in memory of her friend on July 14.
“This woman touched so many lives and mine is one of them,” the actress wrote on Instagram. “She was beyond a force, she was everything you could imagine. Talented, smart, stunning and most of all present. As I have said since day one working with her and just being around this amazing woman, she’s the real deal! No bulls—t, not fake, what you saw is what you got and I love and respect her for that.”