Heather Morris Pays Tribute to Naya Rivera 4 Years After 'Glee' Star's Tragic Death

Four years later, Heather Morris confessed that the drowning death of her 'Glee' co-star Naya Rivera 'still hurts​.'

Four years after Glee star Naya Rivera's tragic death, her friend and former co-star Heather Morris is paying tribute to the late actress. Taking to Instagram, Morris shared a throwback photo of her and Rivera, while penning a heartfelt memorial in the post's caption.

"I can't believe it's been 4 years," Morris wrote, "boy how time flies. Yet every year I'm taken by surprise how much it still hurts. We [grew] up together, fell apart, and came back together in such a beautiful way." She then added, "God you're missed so much…except I can't shake the feeling you never left…you're still here with us..guiding us to our highest potential."

Rivera was reported missing on July 8, 2020, after she took Josey out in a rented boat on the Ventura, California lake. The pontoon was discovered with Josey aboard and unharmed, but Rivera was nowhere to be found. Authorities searched for more than five days, eventually finding Rivera's body on the morning of July 13, 2020.

Following the investigation, Rivera's death was officially ruled an accidental drowning. The Blast shared a copy of Rivera's death certificate, which lists her cause of death as "drowning" that claimed her life in just "minutes." It also states that Rivera had "no other significant conditions that contributed to her death."

Investigators believe that in the moments before Rivera was pulled underwater, she performed a heroic act by making sure Josey got back into the boat so he would be safe. Rivera's father, George Rivera, was asked about this and explained that it is reflective of the type of mother his daughter was. "Sort of the same mantra she used for life, you know, preservation, keep going, when things are hard you keep pushing," he said. "It just shows you the strength of the person."