Naya Rivera’s cause of death has been revealed. The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed on Tuesday — a day after the late 33-year-old actress’ body was found at Lake Piru, California, after she went missing last Wednesday — that it was Rivera’s body they discovered, as well as announcing that the cause of death was drowning by accident.
“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 statement reads. “The body has been X-rayed and a full autopsy has been performed. The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged.”
The autopsy reveals that “no traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified.” There was also no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in her death, “but specimens will be submitted for toxicology testing.”
The star was taking an afternoon boat ride with her 4-year-old son, Josey, at Lake Piru before the tragic accident. During a news conference on Monday, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub shared what authorities believe led to Rivera’s death.
Ayub recounted what the Glee star’s son, whom she shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, told police about the disappearance of his mom. Josey was discovered alone in a boat by another person out on the lake last week.
“We know from speaking with her son, that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey. It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind,” the sheriff said. “He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
Police believe Rivera disappeared in “mid-afternoon” when “there are a lot of currents on the lake.”
Ayub also shared their theory of what may have happened the day she went missing. “The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself.”
Following her tragic death, friends, fans and former co-stars have taken to social media to express their condolences. Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan paid tribute to the late star — and promised to set up a college fund for her son.
“Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom Yolanda, who was big part of the Glee family and her son Josey,” they wrote in part. “The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all.”
See more on her untimely death in the video below.
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