Naya Rivera died saving the life of her son Josey Hollis Dorsey, 4. The “Glee” star was only 33.
At around 1 p.m. on July 8, 2020, Rivera and her son Josey Hollis Dorsey, 4, rented a pontoon boat on Lake Piru in Los Padres National Forest and Topatopa Mountains of Ventura County in California. Around three hours later, another boater found the boat drifting with Josey sleeping on board while his mother was nowhere to be found.
Searchers found a body at Lake Piru in the morning of July 13, 2020, which marked the seventh death anniversary of Rivera’s “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith. Authorities told KTLA, “We had boat crews on the lake at first light this morning with divers and they discovered the body floating.”
With the help of dive teams and sonar technology, authorities searched the water. The murky conditions of Lake Piru made the search extremely challenging.
“We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” People quoted Ventura County sheriff Bill Ayub as saying. “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.”
Josey and Rivera swam in the lake together. Her son told investigators that he was helped onto the boat by his mother, according to Ayub.
“He told investigators he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water,” Ayub said of Joey and his mother. “We believe that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself.”
Josey is the only child of Rivera and Ryan Dorsey, who got married on July 19, 2014 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Rivera and Ryan finalized their divorce on June 14, 2018.
Born on January 12, 1987 in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, Rivera is the eldest child of Puerto Rican-German actor George Rivera and Puerto Rican-African American model Yolanda Marie White. Naya is the elder sister of former National Football League player Mychal Rivera, 29, and model Nickayla Ann Rivera, 25.
While the U.S. is still battling the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Hollywood is mourning Naya’s death. Here are 13 celebrities who took to Twitter to pay tribute to the “Glee” star: