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Autopsy Report: Naya Rivera called for help when she drowned

ByReiss Bowler

Sep 12, 2020

LOS ANGELES (AP) – An autopsy report released Friday says “Glee” actor Naya Rivera raised her arm and called for help when she accidentally drowned while cruising on a California lake with her 4-year-old son used to be.

After his mother helped him back onto the boat, the boy found “the deceased raised her arm and called out ‘help,'” the Ventura County Medical Examiner report said. “The deceased then disappeared into the water.”

Authorities had previously said Rivera had accidentally drowned after putting the boy, Josey Hollis Dorsey, back on the boat at Lake Piru northwest of Los Angeles on July 8, but they had not said she called for help.

Rivera “knew how to swim properly,” the report said.

The man who rented her the pontoon boat said she refused a life jacket, but he put one on board anyway.

It revealed that 33-year-old Rivera had previous problems with vertigo, had a recent sinus infection, and had a small amount of prescription amphetamines in her system, but did not identify physical conditions or medications as factors in her death.

Toxicology tests also showed that she had small, therapeutic amounts of the anti-anxiety drug diazepam and the appetite suppressant phentermine in her system.

Josey, Rivera’s son with her former husband, actor Ryan Dorsey, was found asleep later that afternoon and alone on the floating boat.

Five days later, her body was found floating in a section of the lake that is about 30 feet deep. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said she was likely trapped underwater in dense vegetation for several days before drifting to the top.

Josey was immediately reunited with his father and other family members.

The day before her death, Rivera tweeted a photo of the two that read, “Just the two of us.” In her memoirs she called him “my greatest success, and I will never do better than him.”

Rivera’s death was the third of a major cast member of “Glee,” the Fox TV musical comedy in which Rivera starred from 2009 to 2015 and played a singing and dancing lesbian cheerleader.

Rivera’s body was found seven years to the day after co-star Cory Monteith died at the age of 31 from a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.

Another co-star, Mark Salling, with whom Rivera was once in a relationship, committed suicide in 2018 at the age of 35 after being found guilty of allegations of child pornography.

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Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.

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