The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office completed an autopsy on Naya Rivera confirming her cause of death was an accidental drowning. “The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged,” the coroner said on Tuesday (July 14).
There were no traumatic injuries or disease processes found during the autopsy and “no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role” in her tragic death. Rivera, 33, drowned after taking her 4-year-old son, Josey, out on a boat last week.
According to authorities, the doting mother and her son were out for a swim at Southern California’s Lake Piru, when things turned fatal. In her final moments, Rivera mustered up the strength to boost her son back onto the boat but was ultimately unable to swim to safety. At least 9 people have drowned at Lake Piru since 1994.
Rivera’s grieving family released a statement thanking authorities for recovering her remains, as well as the Glee star’s fans, friends and colleagues for their support. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week,” the family said. “While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister.
“Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Louis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for you commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya. We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her fiends, colleagues, and fans for your continued support.
“Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”