Naya Rivera’s Cause of Death Has Been Confirmed by Officials

Update, July 15th, 2020, 9:24 a.m. ET: Last night, July 14th, the Ventura County medical examiner confirmed that Naya Rivera died in an accidental drowning in Southern California’s Lake Piru. A letter posted to the sheriff’s office Twitter noted that there was no indication of any drugs, alcohol, or any foul play, so her death while swimming with her son, Josey, was a tragic accident.

We’re thinking of Rivera’s friends and family as they pay tribute to Naya’s life.

Update, July 13th, 2020, 5 p.m. ET: After five days of searching, Naya Rivera has been pronounced dead by Ventura County officials, they said in a press conference. The Glee actor went swimming on July 8th from a rented boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, in Southern California’s Lake Piru and did not return to the boat. She was 33 years old.

The search-and-rescue effort began July 8th and continued the next morning, after Rivera’s son was found alone and asleep, wearing his life vest, on the pontoon boat. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office reported at around 2 p.m. ET on July 9th that specialized dive teams were searching Lake Piru, and that they were using “helicopters, boats, ATV vehicles, and ground personnel” to try to locate the actor. At that point, according to reports, authorities considered it a recovery mission, presuming that Rivera had drowned. Lake Piru is a man-made reservoir that reportedly has limited visibility, and its rip currents have overwhelmed swimmers before, leading to multiple drownings, according to an LA Times report.

We’re thinking of Rivera’s son, friends, and family during this difficult time.

Original post, July 9th, 2020: On July 8th, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that they were searching for a potential drowning victim at Lake Piru, a reservoir located in Southern California’s Los Padres National Forest. The missing person was later identified as Glee actress Naya Rivera, and as of this morning, July 9th, the sheriff’s office has started day two of its search-and-recovery mission. Here’s everything we know so far.

Rivera reportedly rented a pontoon boat for herself and her 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey (whose father is actor Ryan Dorsey), at around 1 p.m. PT yesterday, authorities stated. About three hours later, another boater discovered Rivera’s boat seemingly unattended and discovered Josey asleep and alone wearing a lifejacket.

CNN reports that authorities confirmed that an adult-sized lifejacket was found on the boat, indicating that Rivera was not wearing one prior to her disappearance. They also said that Josey told authorities that he and his mother went swimming, but Rivera did not board the boat afterward.


“There’s no evidence of foul play at this point,” a spokesperson for the Ventura County Sherriff’s Office, Captain Eric Buschow, said at a July 8th news conference, per The Washington Post. “This may well be a case of drowning.”

Shortly after Josey was found, the sheriff’s office deployed dive teams, helicopters, and drones to search for Rivera. The search was put on pause at around 10 p.m. PT last night and has since resumed at 6 a.m. PT this morning.

As the search effort continues, Rivera’s former costars and celebrity friends are spreading the word about her disappearance and sending positive thoughts regarding her recovery.

The story is still developing, and we’ll update this story as more details become available.

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