What happened to Naya Rivera and how did she die?

What happened to Naya Rivera and how did she die?


JULY 8, 2021 marks the one year anniversary of Naya Rivera's death.

The Glee star's family continues to keep her legacy alive following her tragic accident one year ago.

What happened to Naya Rivera?

Back in July 2020, Naya went missing on Lake Piru, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, while she was out with her son.

Her then four-year-old son Josey was found asleep and alone on a rented boat with Naya no where in site.

Ventura County Sheriff's deputies found the little boy shortly before 5pm on July 8, 2020, at Lake Piru.

TMZ the later confirmed that day that Naya was not on the boat, and Josey, 5, told authorities that his mother had "jumped into the water but didn't come back up".

How did Naya Rivera die?

Naya was discovered on July 13, 2020, floating near the surface of the lake- five days after she went missing underwater.

After an autopsy was done, her cause of death was ruled as "drowning," according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner.

"We believe that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said to the media following the discovery of her body.

Officials believe the body may have been tangled in plants and so concealed from divers searching for her.

"He [Josey] and Naya swam in the lake together," Ayub said. "It was during that time that her son described being helped onto the boat by Naya. … He told investigators he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."

After her death, Naya's friends, family and Glee co-stars gathered at Lake Piru just before it was announced her body had been found on July 13.

What are people saying about her death one year later?

On the one year anniversary of her passing, Naya's mother, Yolanda Previtire, opened up to ABC News on June 8, 2021, talking about her daughter.

"Sometimes we're afraid of the sorrow being so heavy that we're afraid for our own self, 'cause this is hard. There are no words to describe what we're going through," Yolanda said. "All we know is we have each other."

"I feel Naya's energy constantly telling me, 'Mom, be happy. Don't cry. I'm OK. Go get Josey. Have fun.' And I feel that it's coming from her," she continued.

"I literally wake up every morning, and it's almost like a restart button, and I have to shake it off … one foot at a time. And here we are."

Earlier in 2021, Ryan Dorsy, Naya's ex-husband, and the father her her son, posted a picture on Mother's Day to honor her.

"We can't say the word happy, but we'll say thank you for being a mother & giving me this sweet amazing boy," he said.

What was Naya's final role?

On June 21, 2021, Naya's final role was released on Prime Video and on DVD and Blu-ray the following day.

She lent her voice to the DC movie Batman: The Long Halloween.

Part one was released back in June and part two is expected to be released this July.

Naya is the voice of Catwoman, alongside Jensen Ackles who voices Batman.

Supervising producer Butch Lukic said that Naya brought an "incredible voice and range" to the character. "It has real power, but she controls it perfectly," he continued.

Naya's most famous role is playing the role of Santana Lopez on Glee.

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