Naya Rivera Death: Co-Star Amber Riley Celebrates 'Glee' Star's Life in Touching Post

Another member of the Glee family is speaking out after Naya Rivera's death. Amber Riley, who co-starred on Glee as Mercedes Jones, shared a heartbreaking new post on Instagram Thursday, asking fans to keep Rivera's family in their thoughts and prayers. Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on Glee, went missing on July 8 and was found dead on July 13. She was 33 years old.

Riley shared several photos of herself performing with Rivera on the Glee set and on stage. In her post, Riley said she is "so mad the world" will "never see how high" Rivera could have "soared." Rivera's brain was "brilliant," Riley wrote, adding that she was "smart and as quick as a whip." There was no competition between the two, Rivera wrote, just "pure adoration and mutual respect." Riley added, "You deserved better. You were so much more than just this show. Your talent outshined us all so many times!"

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Riley described how close the Glee cast became during the show's run, which ended in 2015, and how hard the past few days have been. "We are working as a cast and crew and a family to come together and show love, and it's all because of you," Riley wrote to Rivera. "Your presence brought so much excitement, so much passion, so much joy, and in your absence you're STILL holding us accountable and getting us together. I've cried until my tear ducts have dried out, now it's time to celebrate the fact that us mere humans got to experience walking through life with an earth angel. Rest well. I pray you found the peace we all are searching for."

In the end, Riley asked Glee fans to continue praying for Rivera's family and to "be mindful" of the messages they send. "If it's anything beyond condolences and words of encouragement, keep it to yourself," Riley wrote. "All they need is love and good energy and support right now. We clear? Cool. Thank you."

Rivera went missing on July 8, when she took her 4-year-old son Josey to Lake Piru, a reservoir in Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California. Although Josey was found safely in the boat she rented, Rivera was not, sparking a search and rescue operation. Authorities found Rivera's body on July 143. On July 14, the medical examiner ruled her cause of death an accidental drowning, with no evidence of intoxication and injury.


Several Glee castmembers have shared touching tributes to Rivera, including Heather Morris, who remained close friends with Rivera. On July 15, Morris shared a photo of their children together. "I speak to you every day because I know you're still with me and even though I'm feeling greedy that we don't get more time together, I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart," Morris wrote on Instagram.