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Glee star Naya Rivera’s family has released a statement to Deadline through Rivera’s manager to thank fans for their support, investigators for their work recovering Rivera, and to pay tribute to the 33-year-old actress’ life. Rivera was pronounced dead after her body was recovered from Lake Piru on Monday; her cause of death is officially accidental drowning.
Rivera’s four-year-old son Josey had been with his mother and was later found on the boat alone. The two were out swimming, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub told reporters during Monday’s press conference. “We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey,” Ayub said. “It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
She is survived by her mother Yolanda, father George, brother Mychal, sister Nickayla, ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, and four-year-old son Josey Dorsey.
Here, the family’s statement. 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.
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.
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