Naya Rivera death ruled an accidental drowning, Ventura County officials say

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The cause of death for “Glee” star Naya Rivera has been ruled an accidental drowning one day after her body was found floating on Lake Piru, the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday.

That determination was made after a full autopsy, according to a statement from the medical examiner. Dental records were used to make a positive identification.

“The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged,” the statement read.

Authorities for days had presumed she had drowned in an apparent “tragic accident,” something the autopsy confirmed.

No traumatic injuries were discovered during the autopsy, and there was also no indication that alcohol or drugs were a factor in her death, according to the medical examiner.

Rivera, 33, drowned after she went for a swim with her 4-year-old son during a boating trip at the lake last Wednesday afternoon. 

Before she died, Rivera managed to get the young boy safely back on to the rented pontoon boat, officials said. He was discovered later in the afternoon, asleep and alone on the boat. 

Rivera’s remains were recovered Monday morning — five days after she went missing — in the northeastern portion of the lake in water 35 to 60 feet deep, according to Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub.

He said her body had likely been concealed within some heavy shrubbery on the the bed of the lake before surfacing. Poor visibility in the water also hampered search and recovery efforts.

In the wake of her death, a change.org petition was started seeking to add signs around the water with warnings about the “very deep lake with very bad whirlpools.” The petition had garnered almost 40,000 signatures by mid-afternoon Tuesday.

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