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As a parent our number one priority is to keep our children safe. For Glee actress Naya Rivera, even in her final moments it seems all she desperately wanted to do was save her four-year-old son’s life.
On July 13, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department announced the 33-year-old’s body was found floating near the surface at Lake Piru in California, six days after her son, Josey was found alone on a rented boat.
According to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Rivera’s Naya’s last minutes were spent trying to save Josey.
“We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together,” says Sheriff Ayub.
He added that Josey “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.”
Sheriff Ayub said Naya used all her energy to get her son back onboard the boat.
“We believe it was mid-afternoon when she went swimming, the idea being, perhaps, that the boat began drifting… and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself,” he said.
Heartbreakingly, we don’t know exactly what happened at the lake that tragic day but we do know that Naya Rivera loved her son immensely.
Naya had previously spoken about motherhood and how her son was number one priority.
“First and foremost, everything I do is for Josey. He’s at the best age! He’s talking so much and [he’s] so cool, kind and sweet,” she told People in 2018.
In 2017 she spoke about the love she feels for Josey, who she shares with ex- husband Ryan Dorsey.
“You hear about it and you think, ‘Well, obviously I’m going to love my child.’ But it’s so deep. Even after Josey goes to bed, I find myself thinking of him and looking at pictures of him and it almost brings me to tears half the time, because the love that I have for him is so amazing,” she told Momtastic.
Actress Naya Rivera rose to fame playing the role of Santana Lopez on Glee from 2009 to 2015.
Naya married actor Ryan Dorsey in 2014 and welcomed their son in September 2015. A couple of years later the couple separated and the pair finalised their divorce in 2018.
“Our priority is and always will be our beautiful son that we share together. We will continue to be great co-parenting partners for him,” they told People in a joint statement at the time.
Naya’s final Instagram post was a close-up photo of herself cuddling her beautiful boy. It was shared one day before her disappearance and was captioned: “Just the two of us.”
RIP Naya Rivera: 1987 – 2020