Tragic detail in Glee star’s death certificate

The tragic details of Glee star Naya Rivera's death have been confirmed.

The 33-year-old actress' death certificate was released on Thursday, more than three weeks after her body was found floating in Lake Piru in southern California.

According to the document, issued in Ventura County, Rivera drowned "in minutes". She had no underlying ailments, and no drugs or alcohol were found in her system.

The death certificate also confirmed Rivera was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles last Friday.

Rivera (left) played by Santana Lopez on Glee. Picture: FOX Image Collection via Getty Images
Rivera (left) played by Santana Lopez on Glee. Picture: FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

An autopsy conducted earlier this month had already confirmed that the actress had accidentally drowned in the lake during a boat trip with her four-year-old son, Josey, who was found alone on the vessel hours later.

Rivera's body was located in the same area where she went missing, concealed by shrubbery.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office said the findings from an autopsy released today determined "the cause of death is drowning and the manner of death is accident".

"The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged," a statement from the Medical Examiner's Office said.

Rivera's four-year-old son Josey told investigators his mother boosted him onto their rented boat after they had been swimming together before she "disappeared".

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We started out as the closest friends and then like all new things, we went through a bit of a rocky phase. However, we stuck by each other’s side and created the most beautiful friendship built out of love and understanding. The last I had the chance to see you in person, I had left oranges outside our home for you to take. I wanted to say hi through the window but my phone didn’t ring when you called (which it never does, f*cking T-Mobile), so instead you and Josey left two succulents on our doorstep as a thank you. I planted those succulents and I look at them everyday and think of you. I still listen to your EP on repeat because from the moment I heard it, it struck me and I always wished the world knew more of your voice. You sent me over 5 dozen SnapChat videos when you and Josey woke up in the morning and I kick myself that I didn’t save one of them. You always shared recipes and I admired your love for food. We vowed to spend every Easter together, even though Covid stole this last one from us. You are and always will be the strongest and most resilient human being I know, and I vowed to carry that with me as I continue to live my life. You constantly taught me lessons about grief, about beauty and poise, about being strong, resilient and about not giving a fuck (but still somehow respectful ). Yet, the utmost important lesson I learned most of all from you was being a consistent and loving friend. You were the first to check in, the first to ask questions, the first to listen..you cherished our friendship and I never took that for granted. We never took photos together because we mutually hated taking pictures...our relationship meant more than proof. I have countless pictures of our babies playing, because we shared that kind of pride and joy. So I’m showing the world a photo of our little goof balls for you, because I know that meant more than anything and they remind me of you and I. I speak to you everyday because I know you’re still with me and even though I’m feeling greedy that we don’t get more time together, I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart.

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"No traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified at autopsy," the statement added.

"There is no indication from the investigation or examination that drugs or alcohol played a role in the decedent's death."

Police believe Rivera, "mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat but not enough to save herself," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said after her body was found.

 

Originally published as Tragic detail in star's death certificate


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