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Naya Rivera: Glee star died of accidental drowning, California officials say

Actress Naya Rivera died of accidental drowning, officials in California have said after a post-mortem examination. “The cause of death is drowning, and the manner of death is accident,” the Ventura County’s Medical Examiner said.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Ventura County’s Medical Examiner said that Rivera’s body “has been X-rayed and a full autopsy has been performed”.

They said: “The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged.

“No traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified at autopsy.

“There is no indication from the investigation or examination that drugs or alcohol played a role in the decedent’s death, but specimens will be submitted for toxicology testing.”

Naya Rivera YouTube 'Step Up: High Water' TV show panel, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 13 Jan 2018 (Photo by David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
Naya Rivera
YouTube ‘Step Up: High Water’ TV show panel, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA – 13 Jan 2018 (Photo by David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

Rivera’s Glee co-stars led tributes to the actress after the discovery of her body following a five day search in Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California.

The Glee star had been missing since Wednesday afternoon when her boat was seen drifting on the lake. Rivera, 33, was survived by her four-year-old with who she was with when she went missing last week.

“How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone?,”co-star Chris Cofler wrote on Instagram.

“If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t. Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark.

“She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor. Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be.”

Fellow Glee star Kevin McHale also paid tribute on twitter, glowing writing about Rivera’s quick wit and talent.

“She was so independent and strong and the idea of her not being here is something I cannot comprehend,” wrote Glee actor Kevin McHale on Twitter.

“She was the single most quick-witted person I’ve ever met, with a steel-trap memory that could recall the most forgettable conversations from a decade ago. “She was the most talented person I’ve ever known and I’m furious we won’t get to see more.”

Glee Star Naya Rivera Presumably Dead At 33, After Her 4-Year-Old Son Found Alone On A Boat On Lake Piru
Glee Star Naya Rivera Presumably Dead At 33, After Her 4-Year-Old Son Found Alone On A Boat On Lake Piru

Alex Newell also shared her experiences filming with Rivera.

”My heart is broken,”Newell wrote. “I truly had soo much fun filming this little segment… we both clearly didn’t wanna be there but made the most of it! Naya was truly a star.. one day as I was coming out of hair and make up I saw her sitting at base camp and she said

“Alex… when you go on tour can you please say ‘everybody say heeeyy Ms. Newell’’ just for me!” I said absolutely we laughed and had a short little convo about life and music..

“I’ll cherish that moment for ever!! I watched her preform with such power, brilliance, and honesty.. While being a light as a person! The love she had for her family and friends was always clear! She will truly be missed! Josey you are loved by all the people who love your mother! My thoughts and prayers are with her family! Rest Sweet Angel.”

Darren Criss, who played Blaine Anderson on Glee, remembered Rivera for the generosity of her spirit, something that was reflected in her treatment of friends and family.

“I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends,” he wrote.

“She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn’t have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now.”

Kehlani, writing on Twitter, paid tribute to Rivera’s vocal prowess, praising her for her transformation of Fleetwood Mac’s song, Songbird.

“The reason songbird by fleetwood mac is one of my favorite songs ever is because of the glee soundtrack version. she transformed it. Rest Easy Naya Rivera. God cover and hold her loved ones!”