Authorities have been searching for Naya Rivera, 33, since Wednesday, July 8th. She had gone to the lake that afternoon and rented a pontoon boat with her 4-year-old son, according to authorities. Rivera’s son was later seen on the boat, but his mother was nowhere to be found. One life jacket was found on the boat and the boy was wearing another. Investigators found Rivera’s purse and her identification, but no other clues on the boat.
Monday, July 13th, authorities found a body on the lake and made a statement that they were confident it was Rivera’s.
According to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office, they had to confirm Naya’s identity using dental records. The cause of death is listed as drowning and the manner of death is an accident.
Officials say the autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged. They also said, “There is no indication from the investigation or examination that drugs or alcohol played a role in the decedent’s death, but specimens will be submitted for toxicology testing.”
Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub‘s said there was nothing to indicate any foul play took place or that she died by suicide. Sadly, he said this was simply a tragic accidental drowning death.
The current was, apparently, very strong the day Naya went missing. Ayub said that may have contributed to her drowning. Also, the boat Naya and her son had rented that day was not anchored when they went for a swim.
Naya’s family has released a statement saying they’re grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers over the past week. They added, “While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter, and sister.”
The family also thanked the men and women of Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for their commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya. The family said, “We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support. Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”