Naya Rivera's Autopsy Report Includes Heartbreaking Details About Her Last Moments

Naya Rivera died while boating with her young son, Josey Dorsey, on July 8, 2020. The former "Glee" cast member was only 33 years old at the time. What started out as a leisurely lake stroll turned into a tragedy after the actor-musician drowned in Lake Piru, according to CNN. Rivera, who reportedly ignored her father's warning, decided to go for a swim with her son that peaceful day, but lost her life in the process. Josey, whom she reportedly saved from the water, now lives with his father, Ryan Dorsey, Rivera's ex-husband. As CNN noted, rescuers soon located Rivera's body in the shallower end of Lake Piru, which is approximately 35-60 feet deep, confirming that the star had indeed succumbed to the lake. 

However, Rivera's autopsy, which was released in September 2020, confirmed the exact details of her unfortunate death. According to People, Rivera's labs were clean, but she had meds for anxiety, appetite suppression, and a sinus infection in her system. She had also consumed at least one White Claw. "[Naya's] cell phone, syringes with a pink fluid substance, identification, and a filled prescription slip for amphetamine was found in [her] purse," read the report. "Three 12 ounce White Claw alcohol cans were located near [her] purse. One of the cans was empty, one was open and was about 3⁄4 full, and one was unopened." Unfortunately, those aren't the saddest details about her last moments.

Naya Rivera didn't give up without a fight

The prevailing theory about Naya Rivera's untimely death is that she and her son, Josey Dorsey, found themselves in a precarious situation on Lake Piru. However, Rivera tried her best to overcome. According to People, Rivera "helped him onto the boat and then he then heard [Naya] yell 'help' and she put her arm in the air." Unfortunately, Josey bore witness to and recounted his mother's tragic final moments. "He and Naya swam in the lake together," shared Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub. "It was during that time that her son described being helped onto the boat by Naya ... He told investigators he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."

A few weeks after Rivera's death, Ryan Dorsey revealed that her and Josey went swimming with him one day before she died. "I can't believe this is life now," Ryan posted to Instagram in July 2020. "I don't know if I'll ever believe it. You were just here... We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before." Ryan then expressed gratitude for the time they got to spend together as a couple and the result: their son, Josey. Ryan also vowed to keep Rivera's spirit alive for their then-4-year-old child. "Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us," Ryan added. "He'll never forget where he came from."

Social media continues to mourn Naya Rivera

July 8, 2024 marks the four-year anniversary since Naya Rivera lost of her life, but her death feels more recent to her family, friends, and fans. "Glee" alum Heather Morris, for example, took to Instagram to share a throwback photo of her and Rivera, writing, "I can't believe it's been 4 years..boy how time flies." She continued, "Yet every year I'm taken by surprise how much it still hurts. We grow up together, fell apart, and came back together in such a beautiful way." Morris also revealed that, while Rivera is "so missed," she stills feels like she's "still here with us..guiding us to our highest potential." She concluded the post by calling Rivera by her nickname, "Nay Nay."

Fans have also marked the sad occasion. "Four years ago today naya rivera saved her son's life," tweeted one fan alongside a black and white photo of her and Josey Dorsey. "The impact she made in her 33 years is immeasurable. our lives are all better off for having been touched by her spirit and light..." A second fan honored Rivera's sacrifice. "It's been 4 years since we lost naya rivera, a talented woman that gave her life to save her baby, rest in peace," they wrote. Meanwhile, another posted black and white photos of Naya smiling alongside a sentimental caption: "4 years without this angel, i miss her more and more every single day. naya rivera you will always be so very loved."