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Naya Rivera died from accidental drowning with no drugs or alcohol in her system, reveals autopsy

The 'Glee' star's body was recovered from the northeast portion of Lake Piru
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Naya Rivera's autopsy confirmed that the actress had died by drowning and that there was no indication of drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of her death. The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office released the autopsy's findings on Tuesday, July 14, where they confirmed that the body that was found on Monday was Rivera. They also listed the manner of her death as an accident. The 33-year-old actress is believed to have drowned on July 8 when she had gone boating with her four-year-old son Josey. The two had gone to Lake Piru, 56 miles from Los Angeles.

Yolanda Rivera is seen prior to a press conference held for missing actress Naya Rivera on July 13, 2020, in Piru, California (Getty Images) 

The autopsy report stated, "The circumstances and visual characteristics all indicated that the body was that of Naya Rivera and the identity has been confirmed by dental comparison." "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," the report added. "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." Rivera's body was recovered from the northeast portion of Lake Piru which is located around 50 miles from Los Angeles. She was reported missing last week after her son, Josey, was found alone on a rented boat on the lake.

A boat is docked and roped off with police tape at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing on Wednesday, July 9, 2020, in Piru, California (Getty Images) 

According to the sheriff’s department, Rivera had rented the boat around 1 pm. Three hours later, a boater found the child by himself on the boat. Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub revealed that there was no indication of any sort of foul play in her death. Rivera's family has now broken their silence and released their first statement following her autopsy. 

While speaking to Deadline, they said, "We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week. 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."

The statement added, "Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for your commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya." "We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support. Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time," the statement continued.

Rivera's son Josey had told the authorities that his mother had gone swimming in the water but had not climbed back onto the boat. According to the Los Angeles Times, around seven people had drowned in Lake Piru between 1994 and 2000.


Parks and recreation service manager Douglas West had said at the time of the 2000 article that he had counted at least a dozen drownings over his 23 years of work. Ventura County Sheriff Sgt Kevin Donoghue spoke to People and said, "Water searches are really difficult. Sometimes it can take several days before we find any clues or have a recovery." He also highlighted how Lake Piru's difficult conditions also pose a challenge. "The surface area of the lake is large and the visibility underwater is limited."