Ventura County Sheriff Reveals Reason Why Naya Rivera Drowned in Lake Piru

Gracious Egedegbe
Jul 14, 2020
10:54 A.M.

On Monday, July 13, during a conference to announce that the body of "Glee" actress Naya Rivera had been found, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub revealed the 33-year-old actress drowned saving her son.


Last week the entertainment industry was thrown into a frenzy after Naya Rivera was declared missing. Rivera had visited Lake Piru where she rented a pontoon boat at the dock with her four-year-old son on Wednesday afternoon, July 8.

A search and rescue operation was declared after her son Josey, 4, was found asleep on the boat wearing a life jacket. The boat was found adrift in the northern part of the lake around 4.30 pm, with Rivera nowhere in sight.

 Naya Rivera attends Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Luncheon at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 06, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Naya Rivera attends Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Luncheon at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 06, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images


Rivera's body was found after nearly a week of searching through the lake and its surrounding environs. During a press conference on July 13, Ventura County Sheriff, Bill Ayub, officially confirmed her death.

Ayub also gave further clues regarding the circumstances of her death. The sheriff revealed that after preliminary investigations, they discovered that the late actress drowned while trying to get her son to safety.


Before Rivera's body was found, family members of the deceased joined the search party which went on for five days. Many of her former castmates on "Glee" were also part of the search and rescue effort.

Rivera is best known for her breakthrough role as Santana Lopez.

On Saturday, a heartbreaking picture of the delectable actress' mom, Yolanda Rivera, on her knees, praying on the boat dock made its way to social media.


The TV star's dad, George, and her ex-husband and father of her son, Ryan Dorsey made their way to Lake Piru in the days leading up to the heartbreaking discovery of her body.

Rivera's death has thrown the entertainment industry and her fans into a sober mood, with many attesting to her great personality. Many have also taken to their social media to pay tribute to the actress while dubbing her a hero. One particular fan tweeted:

"Naya Rivera saved her son. A true mother's love is unconditional. Rest in peace, sweet angel. #RIPNayaRivera #nayarivera"


Rivera was married to actor Dorsey between 2014 and 2018. They welcomed their only child, son Josey in September 2015, and the pair have since managed a cordial co-parenting relationship.

The beautiful actress loved her son above anything else and the pair had a powerful bond. When Josey turned four back in September 2019, the mother of one confessed her undying love for him in a sweet birthday tribute.


Rivera is best known for her breakthrough role as Santana Lopez on the massively successful Fox musical series, "Glee." She also featured in several television productions, including "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Family Matters," "Sinbad," and "Baywatch."

The "Glee" alum is survived by her parents, Yolanda and George, and siblings, brother Mychal and sister Nickayla. She also leaves behind her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, 4.

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