A year ago, Naya Rivera tragically died at the age of 33 when she drowned in Lake Piru near Los Angeles.
The actress and singer was best known for playing the sharp-tongued, golden-voiced Santana Lopez in “Glee,” but also found success in “Step Up: High Water” and her latest role: Voicing Catwoman in a pair of animated Batman movies. .
While her foray into music was brief, Rivera also recorded and released the song “Sorry” in 2013.
Plus, she was a popular author once she released her memoir “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up” in 2016, which contained juicy details about her “Glee” co-stars and her own. personal life.
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Here is a look at the events that led to the sudden death of the young mother on July 8, 2020:
A day on the lake
On July 8, 2020, Rivera took her then 4-year-old son Josey to Piru Lake near Los Angeles, California for a day on the water.
In security footage from the area, the actress was seen arriving at a dock in her car and walking with young Josey to hire a boat.
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In a report from the Ventura County Medical Examiner, it was reported that Rivera originally planned to barbecue in the area, but changed her mind, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Investigators also found a bag of charcoal and “food items” on the boat.
Take a dip
According to the report, Rivera and Josey decided to spend some time in the water and counted to three before jumping in. Soon after, she told her son to get back into the boat.
After Josey got back on the boat with the help of his mother, he heard her “cry out ‘for help” and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water. “
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The “Glee” alum refused a life jacket when a rental employee offered it, but a life jacket was found on board by authorities.
The search begins
Rivera was to bring the rented boat back to the dock around 4 p.m., and when the boat did not arrive, a search began.
Josey was found alive and asleep on the boat, and a call was made to 911, in which a caller reported “a missing person”. Authorities launched a search for Rivera which was considered a “salvage” operation because she was presumed to have died.
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The search lasted for several days as “difficult conditions” reduced visibility in the lake and the boat was found without an anchor, meaning it could have moved from where Rivera went missing.
Authorities brought in “specialized equipment,” including a sonar system, to help with the search, and a number of Rivera’s family members and “Glee” co-stars visited the lake to help with the search. research and pay homage.
Rivera is located
On July 13, nearly a week after her disappearance, a body was found in the lake and authorities said they were “confident” it was her.
They ruled the death an accident, saying there was “no indication of foul play and no indication that it was suicide.” In addition, drugs and alcohol were excluded as contributing factors.
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The next day, an autopsy confirmed the actress had died of accidental drowning after her identity was confirmed by dental comparison.
Rivera’s death was tragic for a number of reasons, having such a young son among them.
The star shared Josey, now 5, with her ex-husband, actor Ryan Dorsey. Dorsey has since filed a wrongful death complaint against Ventura County and a number of other local departments on Josey’s behalf.
The lawsuit claims that Rivera was not made aware of the unsafe conditions on the water on the day of her boat rental and that the vehicle “was not equipped with a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, anchor, radio or any safety mechanism to prevent swimmers from being separated from their boats. “
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“Glee” co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan said in a moving statement that they plan to start a college fund for Josey.
These days, the young boy “would be doing better every day.”