Police have confirmed the body pulled from a Californian lake was Glee star Naya Rivera and said it's likely she managed to save her son before she died.

Authorities have revealed that while they may never truly know what happened last week when she disappeared, they believe they have enough information to call her a hero.

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said: "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.

"He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."


He said that there are several currents that can pop up in the lake, especially in the afternoon, which is when Rivera and her four-year-old son were on Lake Piru.

Sheriff Ayub added: "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."

Her body will be taken to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office to be formally identified, which will also allow a formal autopsy to be carried out.


Based on what they have found, investigators don't believe foul play or suicide are to blame for the actor's death, saying Rivera's death was a tragic accident.

Authorities were alerted last week when the boat Rivera rented hadn't returned home.

Sheriff Ayub said: "Naya's son was later found asleep on the boat, which was adrift in a northern portion of the lake known as 'The Narrows'... when a leasing agent searched for the watercraft, which was overdue with return. The young boy was wearing a life vest when he was found, and he was wrapped in a towel.

"An adult size life vest was found on the boat. Several witnesses who were at the lake that day have been identified and interviewed by sheriffs and investigators."

Rivera's Glee co-stars and family were seen on the shoreline of Lake Piru holding hands as they grappled with the loss of one of their castmates.

The announcement of Naya's body also came on the seventh anniversary of Glee star Cory Monteith's death.

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