'Glee' Cast Hold Hands On Lake Where Naya Rivera's Body Was Found
The poignant images were caught shortly after police confirmed they had recovered a body from the lake - now confirmed to be that of the 33-year-old star - on Monday following a desperate search and rescue operation.
Reports suggest Naya's co-stars Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale were among the stars on the beach paying tribute to their friend.
The actress - who played Santana Lopez in the hit Fox musical-drama - had rented a boat on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, last Wednesday.
Mother-of-one Naya is reported to have driven to the lake with her four-year-old son, Josey Hollis, and rented the boat at around 1pm.
Around three hours later, when the boat had not been returned after its three-hour time slot, the coastal guard discovered Josey sleeping alone on the boat. The youngster later told police that the pair had been swimming, but that Naya never got back into the boat.
What ensued was a five-day search which began as a rescue operation and later turned into a recovery operation as Ventura County Sheriff's Department claimed they believe Naya had drowned.
Seargeant Kevin Donoghue said in an earlier statement: "Our first day was a rescue effort, it was a life saving effort. We searched with people on the ground, on the shoreline. We were looking not just for her physically, we were looking for any clues, any evidence that suggested she made it to shore.
"We didn't find any clues, any evidence that suggested she made it to shore. The most conclusive piece of evidence we're really holding on to right now is the statements from her son, the only witness.
"He observed his mother disappear beneath the water so we are very confident she is in the water and that at some point in time we will recover her from the lake."
Rescue dive teams, drones and helicopters were dispatched to the scene, but the search was halted at dusk due to failing conditions.
On Monday, police confirmed they had found a body in the lake, believed to be Naya's.
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In a press conference, Sheriff Bill Ayub tragically said it was possible Naya had found the energy to help her son back into the pontoon boat, but was unable to save herself.
He explained: "We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point in 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 beneath the water."
He added: "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 into the boat, but not enough to save herself."
Naya - who starred in Glee from 2009 to 2015 - welcomed her son five years ago, with her then husband Ryan Dorsey. The pair split two years ago, in 2018.
Tributes from Naya's former cast members have been flooding in.
Former Glee star Kevin McHale - who played Artie Abrams in the series - wrote online: "My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you."
Jane Lynch, who played coach Sue Sylvester, said: "Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family."
Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel shared a photo of himself with Naya on Instagram, writing: "How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post?
"How can you summarise a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone?
"If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can't. Her brilliance and humour were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly."
Featured Image Credit: ABC
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