By Abb Jones
The Reelness

Authorities have confirmed that the body pulled earlier Monday from Lake Piru, north of Los Angeles, is that of missing actress Naya Rivera, star of the hit TV series Glee.

Family, friends and Glee castmates gathered Monday to await identification of Rivera’s body.

Search and recovery operations began last Wednesday after Rivera’s four-year-old son Josey was found sleeping alone on the pontoon boat they had rented earlier that afternoon.

The toddler, who was wearing a life vest, raised concerns his mom had drowned when he told authorities he and his mom had been swimming but that she hadn’t gotten back on the boat, where an adult life vest had been found onboard. Lake Piru is notorious for having sudden, treacherous winds, strong currents in some sections, chilly temperatures and poor water visibility.

Heather Morris and Naya Rivera as Britany S. Pierce and Santana Lopez in Glee.

Rivera played sassy lesbian high school cheerleader Santana Lopez on the Fox TV show Glee from 2009 to 2015, appearing in nearly every episode of the popular musical/dramedy. In 2014, Rivera starred in the horror film At the Devil’s Door and a year later had a recurring role in the Lifetime series, Devious Maids. Most recently, Rivera had a recurring role on the YouTube Premium show Step Up.

Ryan Dorsey and Naya Rivera

Rivera was previously married to actor Ryan Dorsey (Ray Donovan, Bosch). They divorced in 2018 and shared custody of Josey.

Mark Salling, Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith from Glee

Rivera’s death is just the latest in a series of tragedies to plague Glee. In July 2013, Cory Monteith, who played lovable quarterback Finn Hudson, was found dead from a toxic combination of alcohol and heroin in a hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia. In January 2018, Mark Salling, who played bad boy Noah “Puck” Puckerman, hung himself from a tree near his home in Sunland, California, just weeks before he was to be sentenced for possession of child pornography.

Among Rivera’s last social media posts was one with her son as well as an inspirational message on Instagram encouraging people to make the most of each day, because tomorrow is not promised.

Naya Rivera was 33.




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