Naya Rivera Laid to Rest in Los Angeles Nearly 2 Weeks After Her Death

Glee alum Naya Rivera was buried in Los Angeles, less than two weeks after her body was recovered in Lake Piru. An autopsy later confirmed the actress accidentally drowned.

By Samantha Schnurr Jul 30, 2020 9:03 PMTags
Related: Naya Rivera Laid to Rest 2 Weeks After Her Death

Naya Rivera has been laid to rest. 

Less than two weeks after the actress was confirmed dead, the Glee alum was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in Hollywood Hills, Calif., a death certificate published by The Blast confirmed. The famed Glee alum, who was 33 at the time of her sudden death, was laid to rest at the cemetery on July 24. 

The certificate also listed the star's occupation as an actress in entertainment for 32 of her 33 years of life. As was confirmed by the Ventura County Medical Examiner a day after her body was found, the certificate also lists Rivera's cause of death as drowning. 

A search first began for the missing star on Wednesday, July 8 after she failed to return a pontoon boat to the facilities following her three-hour rental window. Authorities found her 4-year-old son, Josey, unharmed and wearing a life vest while alone on a boat in the middle of Lake Piru in Calif. An adult-sized life vest was also found on the boat. Five days later, authorities confirmed Rivera was deceased after finding her body in the lake. 

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A day after the tragic confirmation, Rivera's loved ones commented on their great loss in their first public statement since the actress went missing. 

"We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week," the statement, released by Rivera's manager to Deadline, read. "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."

Her family also acknowledged the people who helped locate her. "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," their statement continued. "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," the family concluded. "We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time."

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Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub shed light on what happened in Rivera's final moments, revealing that Josey "described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him on to the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."

"There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon," Ayub further. "We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared, 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."

Rivera's ex-husband and Josey's father, Ryan Dorsey, reflected on Rivera as a beloved mom in a moving message shared on Instagram. 

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"I'm thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for," he wrote. "I remember sometimes you used to get annoyed at me: 'Ryan can you stop snap chatting!' Haha. I'm glad I didn't listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life, and how much fun we had together as he was growing up."

"Life is all about good times and bad times," he continued, "but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us. He'll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you."