Was Naya Rivera's Death An Accident? New Details About Her Tragic Passing After Police Find Her Body In The Lake

Photo: Instagram / Naya Rivera
Was Naya Rivera's Death An Accident? New Details About Her Tragic Passing After Police Find Her Body In The Lake
Entertainment And News

During a somber press conference, the Ventura County Sheriff’s office confirmed that they had found and recovered what they believe to be the body of Glee actress Naya Rivera six days after she was reported missing after taking a boat out in Lake Piru with her 4-year-old son. She was 33 years old. 

"We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera. It has been an extremely difficult time for her family throughout this ordeal. Our hearts are with them and we share in their grief for Naya’s loss," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said.

Days of searching and mystery as to where Naya was led to speculation and theories online about the manner of Naya's death as fans wondered whether the actress committed suicide, left on purpose, or if her death was truly a drowning accident.

RELATED: Naya Rivera Missing And Presumed Dead — Sad Details & Theories About What Happened

Fans reacted to the heartbreaking news on social media and shared the ways in which Naya made a difference in their lives.

“Thank you to naya rivera for being the first female poc who struggles with sexuality that I ever saw on screen. I am beyond heartbroken on the news due to the fact that she literally changed my life and gave me hope as a young poc closeted lesbian. Rest in peace angel,” one fan wrote in a heartfelt tweet. 

Naya’s Glee co-stars also reacted to the devastating news. Jane Lynch, who played the role of Sue Sylvester in the musical series, wrote, “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.” 

Many former members of the Glee cast were also photographed in Lake Piru, holding hands in solidarity and looking out towards the water. The tragic news comes on the seven-year anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death.

Fans speculate Naya Rivera's death was a suicide 

When news about Naya’s disappearance broke late on July 8, fans began to speculate that it was not accidental.

One Twitter user posted their theory about the actress’s last Instagram post, which was of herself and her 4-year-old son Josey, and the connection between the caption and lyrics from an Eminem song about a mother’s drowning. The caption read, “Just the two of us.”


However, other Twitter users were quick to point out that her Instagram caption is a common phrase and appears in many different songs, and likely did not allude to any clues about her mysterious death. 

While Naya revealed her past struggle with an eating disorder and opened up about the difficult decision to have an abortion in her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, there was no indication that Rivera struggled with depression and/or thoughts of suicide at the time of her disappearance. 

Authorities ruled Naya Rivera's death an accident

The Ventura County Sheriff’s office believes that Naya Rivera’s death was the result of an accidental drowning.

An autopsy is currently pending; however, the Ventura County Sheriff's office believes there was no evidence of foul play, and there are no indications as of this time that Naya's death was by suicide. 

Ventura County Sheriff’s Captain Eric Buschow said that while they tried to get as much information from her 4-year-old son as they could, it was difficult to do so. He reportedly told authorities that they went swimming, but Naya did not get back on the boat when he did. He was found with a life vest on, while an adult life vest — presumably Naya’s — was found on the boat. 

RELATED: Is There A Glee Curse? All The Tragic Early Deaths That Plagued Cast In Wake Of Naya Rivera Death Rumors

Who is the father of Naya’s son?

Actor Ryan Dorsey is the father of Josey Hollis Dorsey, who was found alone on the boat by another boater hours after Naya went missing. Dorsey and Rivera were married from 2014 - 2018, and Rivera gave birth to their son in September of 2015.

Although Ryan and Naya were divorced, the former couple were dedicated to co-parenting Josey, and Ryan often posted pictures of their family unit on Instagram. 

RELATED: Details About Naya Rivera's Ex-Husband Ryan Dorsey, The Father Of Her Son

Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of Naya Rivera. May she rest in peace. 

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter.