Naya Rivera, 33, likely summoned the last of her strength to save her son before tragically drowning at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California on Wednesday, July 8th.
Rivera went missing during a boating trip with her 4-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey at Lake Piru last week. Five days later on Monday, July 13th, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department recovered a body that authorities determined to be Rivera’s on Tuesday, July 14th.
Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub recounted what Dorsey told authorities about the accident, during a press conference Monday, reports People.
"We know from speaking with her son, that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey,” Ayub said. “It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water."
The sheriff noted that heavy currents appear in Lake Piru throughout the day, especially in the afternoon. Authorities believe Rivera disappeared in the mid-afternoon.
"The idea perhaps being 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,” Ayub said.
Dorsey was found asleep and alone on the pontoon after the rented boat wasn’t returned. He was wearing a life vest and was wrapped in a towel. An adult size life vest was found on the boat.
The sheriff said there were no signs of foul play or suicide. The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy and will officially identify Rivera based on her dental records.
Rivera and ex-husband Ryan Dorsey welcomed Josey in September 2015.