Kristin Chenoweth is paying tribute to her beloved Glee co-star, Naya Rivera.
The Broadway star, who portrayed character April Rhodes on the musical series, took to her Instagram Story this week to share a tearful message amid the heartbreaking news of Rivera's death.
"A long time ago I was invited to be a guest star on a show called Glee," Chenoweth said in video captured by fans. "I had the honor of meeting all my babies, those kids, who still make me proud and I want them to know I still love them and I'm proud of them."
"And with Naya gone, I know how that hurts them," the actress continued. "She was such a sweet, sweet child."
Rivera, 33, went missing on July 8 while boating with her 4-year-old son Josey at California's Lake Piru. An investigation was launched to find Rivera after authorities found her son alone on a boat in the middle of the lake, which is located about 50 miles north of Los Angeles.
On Monday, July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff's department said that a body had been found at Lake Piru. Hours later, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said that authorities are "confident" that the body is Rivera's, and that the body was discovered floating at the surface of the lake by personnel searching by boat early Monday morning.
On Tuesday, July 14, the Ventura County Medical Examiner confirmed the identity of Rivera's body and has determined her cause of death to be drowning and the manner of death is accident.
Earlier this week, Chenoweth posted a photo of Rivera and her son together, writing, "Thank you for what you gave the world. I love you."
In her Instagram Story video, Chenoweth referenced a video of Rivera and Josey singing, writing, "Seeing her singing with her baby really gets me." The star also told her social media followers that her close friend recently passed away.
"My friend John Sawyer passed away on Mother's Day, my longest and oldest friend," Chenoweth shared. "And I thought maybe John was up in heaven with her preparing the way. Anyway, I just want to tell you all not to lose hope, it's going to be OK. And if you need to have a big cry like I'm doing right now, then do it. Do it."
You can see Chenoweth's video message above.