Naya Rivera’s Death Ruled Accidental Drowning

Naya Rivera’s Death Ruled Accidental Drowning


The actress Naya Rivera died in an accidental drowning, the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday, a day after her body was found in the California lake where she had disappeared.

In a document shared by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the medical examiner said autopsy findings were “consistent with a drowning.” No traumatic injuries or disease were found, the medical examiner said. The autopsy also found no indication that drugs or alcohol had played a part in Ms. Rivera’s death.

Ms. Rivera, 33, disappeared on July 8 at Lake Piru. Search teams from agencies throughout the state scoured the lake, using helicopters, A.T.V.s, boats, drones, dogs and diving gear to look for her.

Ms. Rivera and her 4-year-old son were the only people on a pontoon boat she had rented when they went out on the lake last week, according to a security video released by the Sheriff’s Office. The video shows them arriving at the dock in a dark S.U.V., walking to the marina and then heading north on the boat on the lake.

Another boater found the boy at 4 p.m. that day. The boy, who was wearing a life jacket, was asleep and alone. A second life jacket was found in the boat.

Ms. Rivera’s son told investigators that he and his mother had been swimming in the lake and that he had gotten back into the boat but she had not, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Sheriff William Ayub of Ventura County said Ms. Rivera’s body had been found near the surface of the water in the northeastern portion of the lake. The depth of the water in that area is between 35 and 60 feet.

There were no signs of foul play, he said.

Ms. Rivera made her acting debut as a 4-year-old on the 1991 CBS sitcom “The Royal Family.”

She also had guest appearances on other shows including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Family Matters.” But Ms. Rivera was probably best known for her role as a sharp-tongued singing cheerleader, Santana Lopez, on “Glee,” which ran on Fox from 2009 to 2015.



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