The Naya Rivera family released a statement after the authorities recovered their body from Lake Piru, California on Monday, and confirmed the tragic death of the Glee star at 33.
"We are so grateful for the love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week," the family said. “As we mourn the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor its eternal legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but an even bigger person, mother, daughter and sister. & # 39;
The family was grateful to the authorities for their extensive search in the area for most of a week in the search for the actress.
The Latest: The Naya Rivera family released a statement after the authorities recovered their body from Lake Piru, California on Monday, and confirmed the tragic death of the Glee star at 33
"Many thanks to the men and women of the sheriff departments in Ventura, Tulare and San Luis Obispo County for their commitment and your unwavering efforts to find Naya," said the family. “We thank the heroine who found her, infinitely grateful and with ovations. Many thanks to your friends, colleagues and fans for your continued support.
& # 39; Heaven has won our cheeky angel. We ask you to respect our privacy in this very difficult time. & # 39;
The statement was released by Rivera's representative Gladys Gonzalez on behalf of the grieving family, Deadline reported.
Rivera was gone last week when she took her four-year-old son Josey on a boat ride. Authorities at the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday that Rivera had died as a result of accidental drowning. The actress is survived by Josey, parents, Yolanda and George Rivera; Brother Mychal and sister Nickayla.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office released the results of the autopsy on Tuesday
Rivera's body was recovered from the northeastern part of Lake Piru on Monday
"The circumstances and visual characteristics indicated that the body was that of Naya Rivera and the identity was confirmed by a tooth comparison," said a report. “The results of the autopsy match drowning, and the state of the body matches the time it was submerged.
No traumatic injuries or disease processes were found during the autopsy.
"There is no evidence from the investigation or investigation that drugs or alcohol have played a role in the deceased's death, but samples are submitted for toxicological testing," he added.
The announcement date was listed as Monday July 13th.
The body of the Glee star was recovered on Monday from the northeastern part of Lake Piru, 50 miles north of Los Angeles, after it disappeared last week.
Ventura County's sheriff, Bill Ayub, said there was no evidence that a foul had occurred or that she had died of suicide.
Her family released their first statement after the autopsy confirmed their death on Tuesday, recognizing Rivera as a "cheeky angel" and "magnetic spirit".
"We are so grateful for the love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week," they told Deadline.
“As we mourn the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor its eternal legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but an even bigger person, mother, daughter and sister.
"Many thanks to the men and women of the sheriff departments in Ventura, Tulare and San Luis Obispo County for their commitment and tireless efforts to find Naya," added the statement.
“We thank the heroine who found her, infinitely grateful and with ovations. Many thanks to your friends, colleagues and fans for your continued support.
& # 39; Heaven has won our cheeky angel. We ask you to respect our privacy in this very difficult time. & # 39;
Ventura County's sheriff's office confirmed Rivera's death by drowning on Tuesday
The search began after Rivera disappeared boating with her four-year-old son Josey on July 8. The two swam when Josey said Rivera hadn't got back on the boat
This diagram shows where 33-year-old actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey rented a boat on Lake Piru before the young man was found alone. The map at the top left shows the location of the lake in relation to Los Angeles, where Rivera lives
Rivera was missing on July 8th while boating with her four-year-old son Josey.
A search began after the young man fell asleep alone in a boat in the middle of the lake. There was no sign of Rivera.
He said the actress never got back on the boat when they went swimming.
Naya's troubled family was seen at the lake trying to help the investigators find her.
On Monday, the search continued in a bay where the actress took a photo of Josey and sent it to a relative 90 minutes before he was found on the boat.
Naya Rivera sent a photo of her four-year-old son Josey to a family member 90 minutes before he was found on her pontoon boat, showing the bay to which they had sailed
A picture was sent to a family member showing the boy on the boat on a bay. We found out where this bay is, ”Robert Inglis of Ventura County's Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue Team said to Weekly.
He said earlier: "I suspect the wind was stirring.
“These pontoon boats are very light, and if you push them, they can get away from you. You may have tried swimming after the boat. But that's all speculation. Once we find it, many more questions will be answered. & # 39;
The police did not share the picture and it is unclear in which bay it was taken. At the weekend they asked the public not to look for the star in the dangerous water themselves.
On Sunday, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office announced that huts on the shores of the lake would be searched after social media users suspected that Rivera could have landed in one.
But Sgt. Shannon King later said to the people, "They are not occupied. Nothing came of it. There is no evidence that she has left the water. It seems 100 percent just a tragic drowning. & # 39;
The actress grew up and was familiar with it 20 miles from the lake, police sources said last week.
She considered it her "haven", although it is known for currents and icy water that swimmers can overwhelm.
The lake itself is 1,200 hectares and can reach depths of up to 130 feet.
Eric Buschow, spokesman for Ventura County's sheriff's office, said at a press conference on Friday evening that human divers had almost no visibility.
Actress Heather Morris was among those there. She appeared with Rivera on Glee (right)
Rivera's ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, right, was at the lake with her father George on Monday
Some of Rivera's Glee-Castmates went to the lake on Monday after the authorities found a body. They held their hands on the bank and waited for the body's identity to be confirmed
"We don't know if it will be found in five minutes or five days, so we will continue to do so," he said.
"The visibility in the water is one to two feet," added Buschow.
A body was found floating on the surface of the lake on Monday and Sheriff Ayub said they were "confident" that it was Rivera.
“Due to the location where the body was found, the physical properties of the body, the clothing found in the body and the physical condition of the body, as well as the absence of other people reported in the area, we are confident that we are the body found it from Naya Rivera, ”he said.
THE GLEE STAR, WHICH MADE YOUR SON YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS
Rivera is from Santa Clarita, California. At the age of 4 she started to play in series like "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", "Family Matters" and "The Bernie Mac Show". As a teenager, she struggled with an eating disorder and had breast implants inserted at the age of 18 – "a matter of trust, not a sexual thing," she later wrote in her autobiography.
“I had the lowest possible self-esteem in high school. I was not popular, I had no friends, but I would say it is really important that you know who you are and that in the end you will win because of it, ”said Rivera in 2011.
She worked odd jobs as a telemarketer, nanny, waitress and Abercrombie & Fitch welcomer before taking on the role of Santana Lopez in Ryan Murphy's "Glee".
Rivera played a supporting character in season one of the series – the mean cheerleader with blistering defeats – but became a regular show in season two as she struggled to reveal her character's sexual identity. Many on social media have blamed their character for making them feel better about their own sexuality.
Her most memorable songs on the show include a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" with guest star Gwyneth Paltrow, "Here Comes the Sun" with Demi Lovato, and a tearful cover of "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry.
& # 39; It would be an understatement to say that Glee changed my life. It has revised it. It got me out of debt. It helped me consolidate my career. And I had never had a group of people with whom I was so close before the show, ”she wrote in her memoir.
After the show, Rivera was looking for success in film and music. She made her feature film debut in "At the Devil & # 39; s Door" in 2014 when she played a woman caught in the middle of supernatural events, and released the single "Sorry" in 2013 with rapper Big Sean, a one-time fiance.
She and actor Ryan Dorsey were married in 2014 and their son Josey was born in 2015. She called her little son "my greatest success and I will never do better than him".
Rivera was arrested in West Virginia in 2017 and charged with misuse of the household battery after allegedly seeing Dorsey. The charges were dismissed because Dorsey did not want to bring charges. They divorced soon after.
Most recently, Rivera had a role in Lifetime & # 39; s & # 39; Devious Maids & # 39; published her memoirs in 2016 and played school administrator Collette Jones in the YouTube Red online series & # 39; Step Up: High Water & # 39 ; with ne-yo. The show is about a cutthroat performing arts school in Atlanta.
Dental records were used to confirm that it was she.
Police say Rivera has "gathered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself."
She and her son had got off the boat and went swimming. The boy told investigators that his mother had helped him get back on board, but when he looked back he saw that she was disappearing in the water, Ayub said.
Ayub confirmed that there was an adult life jacket on board the boat and that the recovered body was not in a life jacket. He had no details about whether Rivera could swim.
Ayub said swimming in the lake is allowed, but is typically used for recreational purposes by watercraft. A petition was launched on Monday to ban swimming "in these dangerous waters".
He added that he hoped the discovery would close their family.
"Finding out that she's missing and then day after day, waiting and not knowing … hopefully this offers some degree of closure," he said.
The actress's family rushed to the lake on Monday morning, and some of her glee castmates, including Heather Morris, were also there when news of a body discovery came to light.
They held hands on the bank and waited for further information from the star family and the authorities.
Rivera was found on the seventh anniversary of the death of Naya's former co-star Cory Monteith.
The autopsy confirmed that Rivera's death on Tuesday was a tragic accident when her co-stars and fans paid tribute.
Glee star Jane Lynch was the first to show respect when she went to Twitter on Monday morning to write, “Rest, Naya. What a force you were Love and peace for your family. & # 39;
Both played in the Fox series from 2009 to 2015. Rivera as cheerleader Santana Lopez and 59-year-old Lynch as trainer Sue Sylvester.
Lea Michele. Amber Riley and Kevin McHale also sent warm messages to their "sweet" and "stupidly talented" friend.
The Tuesday before, Glee's makers announced that they would set up a college fund for Rivera's son, and remembered her as a joyful and incredibly talented performer.
"Naya was more than just an actor on our show – she was our friend," said Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan in a statement.
"Our hearts go to her family, especially her mother Yolanda, who was a large part of the Glee family, and her son Josey," said the three producers, describing the child as "the beautiful son that Naya loved most" & # 39 ;.
Josey is Rivera's son with her former husband, actor Ryan Dorsey. She called the boy "my greatest success and I will never do better than him".
Although she wasn't originally hired as a glee actress, it didn't take us more than a episode or two to realize that we were lucky enough to find one of the most talented, special stars we would ever enjoy working with, ” added the producers.
Rivera could act, sing, dance and joke, and she could crush you with an emotional scene. … It was a pleasure to write for them, a joy to lead and a joy to be around, "they said.
By portraying a student in an openly lesbian relationship with Glee, Rivera ensured that her character's love for her partner was "expressed with dignity, strength, and pure intentions," they said.
Among the actress's mourners was her co-star Jenna Ushkowitz, 34.
Ushkowitz thought in a heartfelt Instagram post about their shared “laughs, martinis and secrets”.
"There are no words and yet there are so many things I want to say, I don't think I can ever articulate exactly what I feel," began the Tony Award-winning producer before addressing Rivera's legacy of humor , Light and loyalty. & # 39;
"Naya, you were a force and everyone who needed to be near you knew it and felt the light and joy you exude when you enter a room," she mused. “You shone on stage and screen and shone with love behind closed doors.
After praising her buddy, the Broadway star shared a nerve-wracking statement, "I can't believe I took it for granted that you would always be here."
While revealing that her friendship has been rippling through life and growth, she explained that she knows she shouldn't look back and regret it.
Respect: Jane Lynch was the first to pay her respects when she went to Twitter on Monday morning to write, “Rest, Naya. What a force you were Love and peace for your family & # 39;
No coincidence: McHale, 32, said Monteith and Rivera were "the male and female versions of each other".
"Show some respect": A day earlier, Rivera's co-star Amber Patrice Riley went to Twitter to urge her followers to show some respect for Naya's family and friends
"There are no words and yet so many things I want to say, I don't think I can ever articulate exactly what I feel," wrote Jenna Ushkowitz. seen with Rivera in 2012
Warmly: 34-year-old Glee Alaun joined the growing list of actors paying tribute to the late actress Naya Rivera, whose body was recovered from Lake Piru in Ventura County, California
RIP: Gwyneth released a clip of himself, Naya, and Heather Morris about Fleetwood Mac's 1975 song Landslide for a scene from season two of the Fox music series
The 47-year-old Goop founder wrote: “It was a special moment to sing with her in this trio. I am completely shocked and incredulous that someone who is so full of life, passion and talent is no longer with us. And totally heartbreaking for her family & # 39;
"I love you and promise to help the legacy of your talent, humor, light and loyalty continue to live," she said of Rivera's life.
Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow expressed her condolences on Tuesday for the accidental death of her former Glee Castmate.
"I remember the beautiful @nayarivera today," wrote the 47-year-old Goop founder, who has 11.7 million social media followers.
“To be able to sing with her in this trio was a special moment. I am completely shocked and incredulous that someone who is so full of life, passion and talent is no longer with us. And heartbreaking for her family. & # 39;
Rivera's death is the last death in a tragic arc of & # 39; Glee & # 39; actors.
Monteith died in 2013 – exactly seven years before Rivera's body was identified – from a toxic mixture of alcohol and heroin.
Rivera's ex-boyfriend Mark Salling, who played a jock on the series, killed himself in 2018 after pleading guilty to child pornography. Rivera and Salling were three years old and separated in 2010.
In the preface to her autobiography, Rivera wrote that motherhood changed her life and gave him a perspective. She said she was braver too.
"Your life doesn't have to be perfect for you to be proud. In fact, I think it's the opposite: the more imperfect your life was, the more proud you should be, because that means you got so much further and probably had a lot more fun along the way. & # 39;
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