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Naya Rivera may have 'mustered enough energy' to save son, but couldn't save herself, police say

Police in California are confirming that they found the body of “Glee” star Naya Rivera after days of searching California’s Lake Piru.
/ Source: TODAY

"Glee" actress Naya Rivera maybe have used the last of her strength to hoist her 4-year-old son onto their boat before she slipped under the water during a tragic outing at California's Lake Piru last week, authorities said Monday.

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said Rivera rented a pontoon boat on July 8 at a dock on the lake and left around 1 p.m. The boy, Josey, told his office that he and his mother had gone swimming while they were on the water.

“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 under the surface of the water,” Ayub said at a press conference.

The sheriff's office said it was “confident” it had recovered the body of the former “Glee” star, who was 33. The body was found Monday, five days after Rivera had been reported missing.

Ayub said Rivera’s son was wearing a life vest when he was found and an adult-sized vest was found on the boat.

Ayub said conditions may have played a role in what happened.

Cast members from the show "Glee" and friends gathered Monday morning at the boat launch as Ventura County Sheriff's Search and Rescue dive team located a body Monday morning in Lake Piru as the search continued for actress Naya Rivera after her 4-year-ol
Cast members from "Glee" held hands at Lake Piru Monday.Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

“There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” he said. “The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting — it was unanchored — and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself.”

Confirmation of Rivera’s death came seven years to the day that “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose. Several cast members from the Fox show, which ended in 2015, reunited at Lake Piru on Monday, holding hands in her honor.