Naya Rivera Pronounced Dead on 7th Anniversary of 'Glee' Co-Star Cory Monteith's Death

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Five days after she went missing at California's Lake Piru, Naya Rivera's body has been recovered. The actress was officially pronounced dead on Monday, July 13, exactly seven years after the death of Rivera's friend and former Glee co-star, Cory Monteith, in 2013. 

Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on Glee, went missing on July 8 after taking a boat ride in Lake Piru with her 4-year-old son, Josey. She was 33 years old.

In a press conference the day after her disappearance, Ventura County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Capt. Eric Buschow said that they had no indication after talking to her son -- who was found by a boater alone on the lake and was unharmed -- that Rivera ever made it to shore. "It's not uncommon that we have boating accidents and people lose their lives," Buschow said.

Fans, friends and Rivera's Glee co-stars prayed for her safe return, but the search for the actress turned from a rescue mission to a recovery operation. On Monday, fans remarked at the "tragic coincidence" of Rivera's body being recovered on Monday, seven years to the day after Monteith died. 

Monteith starred on Glee as Finn Hudson and had an on-screen, off-screen relationship with Lea Michele, who played Rachel Berry. On July 13, 2013, the Canadian actor was found dead in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. The BC Coroners Service later determined that he died from a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.

The actor had previously opened up about his issues with substance abuse, but shared in March 2013 that he was seeking treatment. In a 2016 interview with ET, Rivera opened up about the effect Monteith's death had on her. 

"I have never experienced the passing of really anyone that I have loved dearly like, when I was old enough to understand. So, I immediately felt, like, blocked out," she said. Rivera was in London when she got the call that Monteith had died. "[I] didn't understand what my friend was saying on the phone and now I am in a different country and it was all very confusing. And then immediately when I turn on the TV, it's there in my face and I was just, like, in shock." 

Rivera told ET that she thought Michele was a "really good influence" on Monteith, and was hopeful that she would "be able to help him." Michele posted tributes to Monteith and Rivera on her Instagram Story on Monday. 

Lea Michele Instagram
Instagram
Lea Michele Instagram
Instagram
Lea Michele Instagram
Instagram

During her interview with ET, Rivera emotionally recalled one of her favorite moments with Monteith. 

"We went out for a dinner after work one day, and I just finished a really long scene where I had to cry. He was like, 'How do you do that?' and I was like, 'I dwell. I am a dweller,'" she remembered. "I was like, 'You are really good at it -- so how do you do it?' And he was like, 'I keep my mouth open for a really long time until tears come out.' I was like, 'That's amazing.'"  

"He would stay there for, like, hours, and it was such a good time," Rivera added, smiling over the memory. "Every time I go back to that same place, I think of him."

See more on Rivera in the video below. 

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