Glee star Naya Rivera died of accidental drowning, autopsy finds

A 2013 photo shows Naya Rivera arriving fort the 41st American Music Awards in Los Angeles.
A 2013 photo shows Naya Rivera arriving fort the 41st American Music Awards in Los Angeles.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Glee star Naya Rivera died of accidental drowning, the Ventura County medical examiner said on Tuesday (July 14) following the recovery of her body from a lake near Los Angeles.

Rivera, 33, was found in the lake on Monday, five days after going missing on a boating trip with her young son.

The medical examiner's report said there was no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in her death.

A full autopsy revealed no traumatic injuries or other medical conditions, the report said.

Rivera played cheerleader Santana Lopez on the popular musical series about a high school choir that ran from 2009 to 2015.

Her body was recovered on Monday in Lake Piru, near the surface of the water, in an area where the boat was found, that was 35 to 60 feet deep (11m-18 m) and with heavy brush and trees underwater, officials said.

Rivera's four year-old son, Josey, who was discovered alone and sleeping on the boat, told authorities he and his mother had both gone swimming in the lake, a recreational reservoir about 80km north of downtown Los Angeles.

Sheriff's officials in charge of the search said on Monday it was not clear what happened but that Rivera's son had told investigators his mother pushed him back into the boat but did not get back in herself.

Rivera was not wearing a life vest.