• Viral badge
Updated on Aug 2, 2020. Posted on Jul 31, 2020

Naya Rivera's Death Certificate Revealed She Drowned "Within Minutes"

A private funeral was held 11 days after Rivera's body was recovered from Lake Piru in California.

Former Glee actor Naya Rivera has been laid to rest after her death certificate revealed she drowned "in minutes".

Naya Rivera smiling on a red carpet
David Livingston / Getty Images

Rivera disappeared during a boating trip earlier this month, with authorities confirming her body had been found following a five-day recovery mission. She was 33.

Chris Delmas / Getty Images

Rivera had rented a pontoon boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey. He was later found alone and asleep on the boat by someone else on the lake.

Days later, details from Rivera's autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was accidental drowning. Authorities believe she exerted all of her energy getting her son back into the boat after it began drifting while they were swimming.

Rivera's death certificate has been released by Ventura County, revealing she drowned "in minutes". It further indicated that the death was accidental, with no underlying causes or ailments. No drugs or alcohol were found in her system.

Rivera wears an animal print dress on the red carpet for the movie Judy
Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

Rivera was laid to rest on July 24 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles in a small private service with around 25 people present, including Glee cast members.

Rivera wears a dress on the red carpet
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

Days later, Rivera's ex-husband and Josey's father, Ryan Dorsey, broke his silence on her death in an emotional Instagram post.

Rivera, wearing a white turtleneck, leans and rests an arm behind Dorsey, who wears a gray suit jacket and white hoodie
Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

"This is so unfair," he wrote in the caption of a photo of Rivera and their son together. "There's not enough words to express the hole left in everyone's hearts. I can't believe this is life now. I don't know if I'll ever believe it."

"Life is all about good times and bad times," he added. "But with Josey it makes the bad times less so because a part of you will always be with us. He'll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you."

Dorsey's message followed an emotional tribute from Rivera's sister, Nickayla, who also posted in the days after the funeral.

"I've never known a life without you in it and still can't imagine it," she wrote. "My world is turned upside down. But through it all, everything we were, we are still. I'll always look at you with the same eyes as I did when I was young."

Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here