The discovery of a body Monday in Lake Piru believed to be that of Naya Rivera tragically comes on the seventh anniversary of the anniversary of former Glee co-star Cory Monteith's death. Police have yet to confirm the identity of the person discovered in the body of water about 56 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Still, TMZ reported that the search team had indeed found Rivera after she went missing July 9 during a boating trip with 4-year-old son Josey.
Police have yet to confirm that the body found in Lake Piru is Rivera's, and have scheduled a press conference for 2 p.m. PT to discuss the finding. Before the discovery, Sgt. Shannon King told PEOPLE there was no reason to believe that Rivera ever "left the water." The sergeant explained, "There's no evidence to say she left the water. It appears to be 100 percent just a tragic drowning."
Monteith, who struggled with addiction, died on July 13, 2013, in a Vancouver hotel. Police later determined that his cause of death was a fatal cocktail of alcohol and heroin. In the episode of Glee honoring Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, Rivera's character, Santana Lopez, performed The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" in a clip that is being circulated online after her disappearance. The revelation was obviously an emotional one for Glee fans, who pleaded with one another to be gentle with Rivera's former co-stars on what is a doubly tragic day now.
naya rivera’s body has, very possibly, just been found on the seven year anniversary of cory monteith’s death. i beg you guys to please leave the glee cast alone right now. don’t tweet them, don’t message them, don’t expect public posts. i can’t imagine how they’re all feeling.— leanna (@MlLKOVIICH) July 13, 2020
7 years on from Cory's death Naya Rivera's body was today found.. The Glee cast together on the shore.July 13, 2020
Finding Naya Rivera’s body on the day Cory Montieth passed truly tells me he’s her guardian angel at this time and has helped us and her find peace ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0ZROF6EYcA— Callum ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@CalsTweetings_) July 13, 2020
Glee alumni Amber Riley and Kevin McHale defended themselves and fellow co-star Lea Michele Sunday after people criticized them for not publicly speaking about Rivera's disappearance. "Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family," Riley tweeted. "No one owes anyone online a performance of grief. This is very real and devastating. Focus on Naya and her family. Not us. We don't matter right now."
McHale retweeted Riley's message and added, "I cannot begin to understand what Naya's family must be feeling. I know the rest of us are completely shattered, but not without hope. Please respect her family & their privacy in this moment. Please refrain from judging those who don't show their pain on social media."