Naya Rivera's Mom Tearfully Recalls Her Final Conversation With Glee Star One Year After Her Death

In an interview with Good Morning America, Naya Rivera’s mother, Yolanda Previtire, detailed the last time she spoke with the actress before her tragic death last July.

By Kisha Forde Jul 08, 2021 3:33 PMTags
Watch: Naya Rivera's Mom Tearfully Recalls Final Words With Her Daughter

Naya Rivera may be gone, but her mother, Yolanda Previtire, is still holding tight to her precious memories.
In an interview with Good Morning America on July 8, exactly one year after the star's passing, Yolanda, alongside Naya's younger sister, Nickayla, tearfully recounted the last time she spoke with her daughter—just hours before her fatal drowning.
"I missed two of her FaceTime calls, and I called her back," Yolanda recalled of that otherwise unremarkable day last July. "And we had a beautiful conversation. The sun was kissing her face and she was just beautiful."
The 33-year-old actress was enjoying a boating trip with then-4-year-old son Josey on Southern California's Lake Piru. Yolanda recalled telling her daughter that the waves were "choppy" and to "call when you get off the water."
Unfortunately, that follow-up call never came. Josey was found later that day by another boater, asleep and alone, with the actress nowhere in sight. A five-day search for the Glee star—a period Nickayla described as "absolute hell"—ended in tragedy on July 13 when her body was recovered.

Naya Rivera: Life in Pictures

An autopsy later detailed her cause of death as accidental drowning. Officials said they believe Naya was able to muster enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself.

Until that moment, said Yolanda, she'd been holding out hope. "My faith told me that nothing is missing, surely not a person," Yolanda explained. "Yes, we just can't find them. So that was my thing: God, you know where she's at, just bring her back to us."

Instagram / Ryan Dorsey

Revealing that she actually took screenshots of their final FaceTime call, Yolanda recalled, "Thank God I took the pictures because they were able to look at the topography of the land to locate where they were."

Those images aren't the only piece of her daughter that Yolanda holds dear. "Now I see Josey, and it's almost like it's so reminiscent because he's like a boy version of her in every sense of the word," she said of her grandson. "Just his tenacity, his drive his zeal, his adventure for life."
But if the world can only remember one thing about Naya, Yolanda hopes that it's her heart. "I would like my daughter's legacy to be one that teaches people to love," she shared. "Love who you are because you don't get another life."