At the same time Naya Rivera's former Glee castmates prayed for her at the edge of Lake Piru Monday, authorities discovered the actress' body after days of searching. Captain Eric Buschow, the spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, told Us Weekly of the touching coincidence Tuesday, one day after Rivera was pronounced dead at 33.
"I don't know who is who in the cast, but there were 12 to 15 people," Buschow told the publication of the gathering captured on film by ABC7 Eyewitness News. "They were down there by the edge of the lake and prayed for about a half-hour. … I did not go down there and stand with them, so I don't know what they did or said other than they had expressed a desire to go down there and have a prayer."
Rivera's loved ones and former co-stars held hands as they looked out at the California lake where Rivera was reported missing on July 8, having rented a boat for a day out on the water with 4-year-old son Josey. The little boy was found wearing his mother's life vest and asleep on the vessel when the rental company went looking for the boat hours after it was due back at the dock. Amber Riley and Heather Morris, who played Mercedes Jones and Brittany Pierce, respectively, on Glee, were spotted in other photos taken of the gathering.
"As they were praying, we got a call that the body was discovered on the surface of the lake," Buschow continued. "We didn't tell them because anytime we — in the case of a death, we don't want people to find out from other sources or from the media. We want the family to be notified officially. We don't want them to learn about it on the news."
Hours after Rivera's body was located, Sheriff William Ayub confirmed that the actress was believed to have accidentally drowned while out on the lake with her son. Regardless, an official autopsy will be conducted. "We know from speaking with her son that he and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey," he said during a press conference on Monday afternoon. "There are a lot of currents that appear on the lake in the afternoon. She mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself."