#GleeStarNayaRivera; #DeathByDrowing; #VenturaCounty
Southern California (U.S.): Glee star Naya Rivera's four-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey told investigators that his mother, whose body was found in a Southern California lake Monday, helped him back on the deck of their rented boat before he looked back and saw her disappearing under the water, authorities in Ventura County, Calif., said.
Naya Rivera. Image credit: Facebook page
"She must have mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said at a news conference on Jul 13.
Three hours after the pair launched on Lake Piru northwest of Los Angeles, Josey was found asleep and alone in a life vest on the drifting boat by the vendor who rented the boat to them.
A five-day search that ended with the discovery of the body of the 33-year-old floating near the surface early Monday, authorities said.
It was believed by the authorities that Rivera drowned accidentally, and that her body was most likely trapped in the vegetation under the lake for several days before floating to the top, Ayub said.
"It has been an extremely difficult time for her family throughout this ordeal," Ayub said "We share in their grief."
Rivera's body was flown by helicopter 64 kilometres to the coroner's office in Ventura for an autopsy, and an official identification, authorities said.
Mother and son parking and renting the boat at about 1 p.m. on July 8 was shown on a surveillance video.
The boy was quickly united with family members after he was found and was safe and healthy, authorities said.
The boy is Rivera's son from her marriage to actor Ryan Dorsey.
After nearly four years of marriage, Rivera and Dorsey divorced in 2018.
The day before her death, Rivera tweeted a photo of herself and Josey that read, "just the two of us."
20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment also released a statement, saying: "Naya Rivera was a fierce talent with so much more to do and this is such a terrible tragedy. We are forever grateful for the indelible contribution she made to Glee, from the first episode to the last."