Rest in peace. Naya Rivera is dead at 33 years old after her body was found at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, days after she was declared missing on Wednesday, July 8. After a body was recovered from Lake Piru on Monday, July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department in a press conference that it was Rivera’s.
The Glee alum was reported missing after she and her 4-year-old son, Josey, took a trip to Lake Piru on Tuesday, July 7, where they rented a pontoon boat and went swimming in the lake. However, after the boat’s three-hour rental had passed, staff went to look for the mother and son and found Josey asleep on the boat with no one around. A 911 call was also made after a nearby boat saw Josey, who was wearing a child-sized life jacket, alone on the boat with no parent. Rivera’s purse, wallet and ID were also found on the watercraft, as well as an adult-sized life jacket, which the authorities believe belonged to Rivera.
After the “Sorry” singer was reported missing, a search commenced. The search shifted to a recovery mission after she wasn’t found alive after a couple of days. The authorities have also said that they do not believe there was any foul play in Rivera’s disappearance.
“We were notified and the search began. Helicopters immediately flew out with the dive team and put divers in the water where she was last seen,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Eric Buschow told Us Weekly at the time.
The officer continued, “There was another vest on board the boat for an adult, so it looks like she was not wearing a vest. The son said they were in the water swimming together. He came up and got back up on the boat, but she did not.”
Days before her disappearance, Rivera shared a motivational Instagram post about how “tomorrow is not promised.” “no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you’re alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised,” the actress captioned a photo of her in a white shirt.
Rivera shares Josey with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey. In a 2018 interview with People, the actress opened up about how her life has changed since she became a mother. “First and foremost, everything I do is for Josey. He’s at the best age! He’s talking so much and [he’s] so cool, kind and sweet,” she said at the time.
The actress went on to talk about how her son inspired her to create her gender-neutral kids’ lifestyle brand JOJO&IZZY. “Josey inspires me in so many ways that it felt natural to want to create this for him and I. Starting this company from the ground up is something I’m really, really proud of. I know that my son is proud of it too. It’s a sweet bond that we share together,” she said.
In a 2016 interview with Mini Magazine, the actress opened up about how motherhood has made her realize how “truly selfless” she can be.
“It’s made me a much more observant person,” she said at the time. “The love I get from him. Little things like the two kisses he stood up and gave me last night to say thank you for making him mac and cheese from scratch. It’s a love never found anywhere or with anyone else.”