As a tribute to the late star, Glee producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck, and Ian Brennan establish a college fund for Naya Rivera’s 4-year-old son.
Rivera was a former cast member on hit television series Glee – a program illustrating the competitive nature of the show choir circuit, yet also encompassing timeless teenage conflict. The show ran for six seasons, making its debut in 2009 and concluding six years later. Rivera’s role as Santana Lopez was that of an unapologetic cheerleader who was recognized for her barbarous demeanor. The show, alongside her role, was noted a commercial success as the production became recipient to a number of accolades.
While Rivera was not originally cast, the producers outline their initial impression of her capabilities in a statement: “didn’t take more than an episode or two for us to realize that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with.” They further mention their effort to create a college fund for “the beautiful son Naya loved most of all” – Josey Hills Dorsey.
The producers wrapped up the message by expressing their condolences – “Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family and her son Josey.”
— 20th Television (@20thTelevision) July 14, 2020
On July 8th, Rivera had ‘disappeared’ following a boat excursion with her son at Lake Piru in Southern California. Her son, Josey, was found while his mother evidently, remain missing. Members of Rivera’s family and the Ventura County Police Department spent the following days in protracted search, hoping to recover her body – as the investigation was no longer deemed a rescue mission.
Days later (July 13th), Rivera’s body was found declaring the former star dead.
An autopsy issued by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Rivera’s death was the result of an accidental drowning. In a press release, the office disclosed relevant details – “The autopsy findings are consistent with drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged. No traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified at autopsy.”
Members of the Glee cast and friends of Rivera gathered at Lake Piru Monday morning to grieve over their loss. While holding hands, the group shouted “Say her name, Naya.”