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Naya Rivera has been reported dead, days after she went missing in California’s Lake Piru. Her body was recovered in the lake, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press conference on Monday. Authorities had been searching for Rivera since Wednesday.

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Source: CHRIS DELMAS / Getty

“A body has been found at Lake Piru this morning,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office tweeted earlier on Monday before confirming later in the press conference that the body was indeed that of Rivera.

In her last tweet on July 7, Rivera tweeted a selfie with her 4-year-old son, Josey. The caption read “just the two of us.”

 

The former Glee star went missing after boating at the lake with Josey. On July 8, Rivera’s son was found alone on a boat, where the two had been swimming the day before.

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Source: ROBYN BECK / Getty

It appeared that Rivera “mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself,” officials said in the press conference.

One life jacket was found on the boat and her son was wearing the other life jacket, according to CNN.

A Look Back at Naya Rivera’s Career

Before there was Glee, Rivera began her career as a child actress and model. Between 1992 and 2002, she had roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Smart Guy, and The Bernie Mac Show. She also had a special appearance in the music video for B2K’s Why I Love You.

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Naya Rivera guest stars on Family Matters (Source: ABC Photo Archives / Getty)

Rivera’s breakout role came in 2009, playing Santana Lopez on the Fox show Glee, a role she’d play until 2015. She was nominated and won several awards for the show, including the 2010 and 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

During her time on the musical-comedy-drama, Rivera briefly pursued a singing career. After signing with Columbia Records in 2011, she released a single in 2013, Sorry, featuring her then-boyfriend, rapper Big Sean.

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Source: Michael Tran / Getty

Fans and Celebrities Weigh In

Former Smart Guy actor, Tajh Mowry, dated Rivera and shared his love for the star in an Instagram post saying, “I look forward to the day where I can see your beautiful face once more and tell you everything I’ve wanted to say that I didn’t get the chance to say. I love you forever. I always have and I always will.”

View this post on Instagram

My sweet Naya – to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found. ⁣ ⁣ We grew up together. We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together…more than once. I will never not think of you. No woman has ever measured up what you gave me or how you made me feel. I’ve never liked to admit it but I have never stopped loving you. A part of me always wished for the day where God would bring us back together to be what we dreamt we could have been. ⁣ ⁣ I pray deeply for the Rivera family and that God blankets them with strength, peace, and love right now. Mychal and Nickayla – you will always be like younger siblings to me and I love you dearly. I watched you two grow up into beautiful adults. George and Yolanda – whatever you need I am here for you. We are forever family and I love you. ⁣ ⁣ I ask everyone reading this to please lift up, along with the entire Rivera family, Ryan and Josey in prayer and to respect what they are going through during this time. I pray that God showers the entire family with strength and peace that only He can give. ⁣ ⁣ I still have faith. I still have hope. Let’s please all pray that she is found and brought home safely. ⁣ ⁣ Naya, I miss you deeply. I wish I got the chance to tell you that once more but I’m believing I will get that chance. I know deep down you’ve always known how I felt. I look forward to the day where I can see your beautiful face once more and tell you everything I’ve wanted to say that I didn’t get the chance to say. I love you forever. I always have and I always will. ⁣ ⁣ ♥️

A post shared by Tahj Mowry (@tahj_mowry) on

 

Tahj’s sister and actress, Tia Mowry, shared how Rivera quickly became part of the Mowry family, adding “I will never forget asking you to shoot an episode of my cooking show Tia Mowry at Home and you saying, ‘yes’ without hesitation.

 

At the initial news of the star’s disappearance, some fans began to attack former co-star Lea Michele on Twitter, speculating the cause for Michele later deactivating her Twitter account. The two were rumored to have had some tension during the Glee days but Rivera stated otherwise in interviews.

Other fans came to Michele’s defense.

Former Glee co-star, Amber Riley also weighed in and asked that Rivera’s fans “focus on Naya and her family.”

Our thoughts are with Naya Rivera’s family and friends.

 

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