According to CBS Los Angeles, the special vigil in Naya’s honor took place on Saturday, August 1, and was organized by the online fan page Naya’s Army. The supporters reportedly took turns sharing stories and speaking out about the impact the 33-year-old — who played lesbian Santana Lopez in the Fox show — has had on their life.
“Without Glee, I swear I would not be here. I would not be alive. That’s just a fact,” one fan said, according to the outlet. Another added, “After seeing [her] on TV, I was like it is OK to be different.”
For those who missed it, police told Us Weekly that the brunette beauty rented a motorized pontoon boat on July 8, 2020. But when they found her 4-year-old son, Josey, alone in the boat, she was reported missing. Then, five days later, on July 13, 2020, authorities confirmed that they found Naya’s body in the lake and that she had sadly passed away.
One day later, the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that after completing an autopsy, the actress’ cause of death was drowning.
“The circumstances and visual characteristics all indicated that the body was that of Naya Rivera and the identity has been confirmed by dental comparison,” a press release read. “The body has been x-rayed and a full autopsy has been performed. The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged. No traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified at autopsy.”
The office concluded, “There is no indication from the investigation or examination that drugs or alcohol played a role in the decedent’s death, but specimens will be submitted for toxicology testing.”
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