Glee stars pay tribute to their former castmate, Naya Rivera

Lea Michele, Amber Riley, Demi Lovato and Darren Criss took to social media to remember Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera (Courtesy of Lea Michele’s Instagram Story)

Stars of the hit television show, Glee, have expressed their heartbreak following the news that actress, Naya Rivera died after drowning in a California lake. 

The actress and singer starred on the show for six seasons as the plucky cheerleader, Santana Lopez.

READ MORE: Naya Rivera’s body found in California lake 5 days after disappearance

Her castmates shared images and memories of her on their social media pages. After the news was announced that her body was found yesterday. 

Lea Michele who starred on the show as Rachel Berry shared black and white photos in her Instagram Story of Rivera and her former boyfriend and castmate Cory Monteith who died seven years ago on July 13, 2013.

Cory Monteith, Naya Rivera theGrio.com
Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera (Courtesy of Lea Michele’s Instagram Story)

Demi Lovato wrote: “RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee. The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted (at the time) queer girls like me, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world.”

Amber Riley, who played Mercedes Jones on the show declared Rivera her “favorite duet partner.” She continued, “I don’t have words right now, just lots of feelings.” 

Actor Darren Criss wrote that he was “constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends. She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn’t have to, and I was always so grateful for the friendship then, as I certainly am now.” 

Rivera’s body was found after a five-day search when she took her four-year-old son out boating on Lake Pirate in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California.

According to a report from NBC Los Angeles, Ventura County Deputy Chris Dyer called her drowning a “tragic accident” after the man who operates the boat rental stand went out to look for the boat and found Rivera’s son, Josey asleep onboard. He told the man that they went swimming and his mom never came back. 

READ MORE: Naya Rivera, son seen arriving at California lake in security video before her disappearance

Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub shared that her son, Josey featured in Riley’s video tribute, was the last to see his mother before her demise. The child told the investigators that “he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”

Ayub suggested, that the “boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself.”

Naya Rivera was 33. 

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