UPDATE: Naya Rivera's cause of death confirmed, authorities say she saved her son before drowning

  • Naya Rivera has been missing since Wednesday, 8 July.
  • The Glee star was swimming in a lake in California with her son. Authorities were called when four-year-old Josey was found alone, asleep, in a boat.
  • According to reports a body has been found at the California lake where the former Glee actress went missing.
  • The police believe the body found is that of Naya Rivera.
  • Her death was later confirmed as the result of an accidental drowning.

UPDATE: Wednesday, 15 July - 7:00

On Tuesday the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Glee star Naya Rivera died by drowning. They said they do not suspect foul play or suicide and her cause of death was an accident.

They do not suspect drugs or alcohol factored into the drowning, but specimens have been submitted for a toxicology screening.

Of Naya's death authorities believe the lake's sudden strong currents may have resulted in the fatal accident.

They believe Naya saved her 4-year-old son, Josey, with whom she was swimming. But while she managed to muster up just enough energy to lift him up and get him on the boat, she wasn't able to save herself.

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UPDATE: Tuesday, 14 July - 02:30

US officials on Monday found the body of Glee actress Naya Rivera in the Californian lake where she drowned last week during a boat trip with her four-year-old son, AFP reported.

Rivera's body was retrieved and an initial examination found no evidence of foul play or suicide, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub told a press conference.

"We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera," said Ayub, pointing to the location, appearance, clothing and condition of the body.

Her body was being taken to a medical examiner's office for a full autopsy and confirmation of her identity from dental records, though no other missing persons have been reported at Lake Piru, he added.

Rivera, 33, is believed to have accidentally drowned after renting the boat with her young son at the camping and recreational hotspot around an hour's drive northwest of Los Angeles.

She vanished on Wednesday afternoon, and a massive search involving divers, patrol boats and helicopters was launched after her sleeping son was spotted drifting alone in a boat on the lake.

The son later told investigators that Rivera had helped him into the boat before "he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," said the sheriff.

Ayub pointed to the lake's strong currents as a possible cause of a fatal accident.

"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," he said.

The lake has been closed to the public since Wednesday, with around 100 personnel, including the US Coast Guard and rescuers from neighboring counties, joining the search.

Search teams used footage from video messaging calls Rivera made from the boat before her disappearance, as well as interviews with her son, to scour portions of the lake bed for her remains over six days, with no success.

"We believe she was concealed within some of the shrubbery on the floor bed of the lake" before eventually floating to the surface due to natural decomposition, said Ayyub.

With less than 30cm of visibility underwater in daylight, the recovery operation was a "complex search effort" even with use of sonar equipment, he said.

(Source: AFP)


UPDATE: Monday, 13 July - 18:53

Body found in lake believed to be that of missing actress Naya Rivera

According to  Sky News a body has been found at the California lake where former Glee actress Naya Rivera went missing.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the body has not been identified, and officials will hold a news conference in the afternoon.


Glee star Naya Rivera presumed to have died in 'tragic accident' on lake

Naya Rivera's rescue mission has shifted to a recovery operation.

According to NBC, the Glee star rented a boat on Wednesday to go swimming with her son, Josey Dorsey, who she shares with actor Ryan Dorsey, at Lake Piru in California. However, when the boat was overdue for return, staff ventured out to look for it and found a four-year-old Josey in the boat wearing a lifejacket.

The Sheriff's Department Cpt. Dean Worthy said the toddler was "unharmed," but they were still searching for his mother. "The woman was nowhere to be found," he said.

A search-and-rescue operation for the 33-year-old began on Wednesday and would resume on Thursday morning, reports said. It has since shifted to a recovery operation with Naya presumed to be dead.

"Upwards of 100 law enforcement and emergency personnel – including several dive teams from Sheriff's departments around the region – are searching the depths of Lake Piru for the body of Naya Rivera who is missing with all indications she drowned in Lake Piru," the Ventura County Sheriff's Department said on Thursday. "The number of on-scene personnel is about double the number of people who were searching yesterday after Rivera's son was found alone on a boat on the lake, which is about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles."

The Ventura County Sheriff Deputy Chris Dyer confirmed there are "no signs of foul play" and "no signs of anything that went wrong besides a tragic accident", reports E! News.

"The goal is still to bring Ms Rivera home to her family so that they can have closure," he said.

Camera footage of the two arriving at the lake was released by the department, indicating they were alone, reports People.

The footage shows the actor get out of the car in the lake's parking lot, take Josey out of the vehicle, before taking a large bag out as well.

Authorities said when they found Josey he was asleep in the boat, which also had food, Naya's ID and purse. There was also a lifejacket in the boat.

Josey told officers that the two were swimming in the lake, but while he got back in the boat, his mother did not.