Following days of searching, Naya Rivera’s body has been recovered in Lake Peru. Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said to the press that her body was discovered in the northeast portion of the lake, near the surface of the water on Monday morning, July 13.
Ayub also said that there’s nothing to indicate any foul play took place or she died by suicide, insisting that it was a tragic accidental drowning death. “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,” he said. “He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
He then pointed out that “there are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” before adding, “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.”
An autopsy will be performed at the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office and Rivera will officially be identified based on her dental records.
Following news of the discovery, many celebrities have taken to their own social media accounts to pay tribute to Rivera. Her former “Glee” co-stars, in particular, were photographed holding hands with Naya’s family in Lake Peru to bid their final goodbye.
Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel on the hit series, also honored Naya on social media. He wrote alongside a photo of them together, “Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark. She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor. Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be.”