Naya Rivera’s Autopsy Reveals Tragic Details About Her Final Moments

Naya Rivera poses on the red carpet.
FREDERICK M. BROWN / Getty Images

Naya Rivera’s autopsy has revealed some tragic details about the Glee star’s final moments before accidentally drowning in a California lake back in July.

The 33-year-old actress had gone missing while on a boating trip with her 4-year-old son on July 7 on Lake Piru. A search team would later find her body, and her death was ruled an accidental drowning.

As the Daily Mail reported, the autopsy revealed that Rivera had raised her arm and called for help as she struggled in the water, where she and her son had been swimming just moments before. The outlet added that Rivera helped her young son back to safety, then quickly grew distressed.

“Shortly after they jumped in the water, the decedent told Josey to get back on the boat,” the finding reportedly read. “She helped him onto the boat and he then heard the decedent yell ‘help’ and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water.”

There had already been reports that Rivera spent her last moments before sinking below the surface by helping her young child get back to safety — an account now confirmed by the medical examiner’s report.

The report added that Rivera was not wearing a life vest at the time, and had been suffering some difficulties from vertigo and a recent sinus infection that may have exacerbated her swimming troubles. The actress also had traces of amphetamines in her system, but the final examination noted that the drugs had been prescribed and were not listed as a factor in her passing.

There were also signs that the actress may have been drinking, as three 12-ounce cans of White Claw hard seltzer were found on the boat. Rivera had a blood alcohol level of 0.016 percent at the time she drowned, well under the legal limit to drive in California.

The final report ultimately painted the incident as a tragic accident.

“Based on the autopsy findings, known circumstances surrounding the death, and absence of anatomic or toxicological explanation for the death, as currently understood, the cause of death is drowning, and the manner of death is accident,” it read.

A picture of Lake Piru in California.
  Amy Sussman / Getty Images

As The Inquisitr noted, her tragic passing led to some changes at Lake Piru. It remained closed to the public for more than a month afterward, and when it reopened there was a ban on swimming. Many of Rivera’s friends and former Glee co-stars gathered at the shore to pay tribute to her, and fans have since turned a nearby fence into something of a memorial.