Naya Rivera's cause of death revealed as Glee creators share touching tribute

Naya Rivera's cause of death has been confirmed as drowning, one day after her body was discovered. The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office said on Tuesday there's "no indication" drugs or alcohol played a role in the tragic accident.

"The circumstances and visual characteristics all indicated that the body was that of Naya Rivera and the identity has been confirmed by dental comparison," the report, obtained by Yahoo Entertainment, reads. "The body has been x-rayed and a full autopsy has been performed. The autopsy findings are consistent with a drowning and the condition of the body is consistent with the time that she was submerged. No traumatic injuries or disease processes were identified at autopsy."

The office concluded, "There is no indication from the investigation or examination that drugs or alcohol played a role in the decedent's death, but specimens will be submitted for toxicology testing."

Rivera, 33, went missing on July 8 at Lake Piru, about an hour outside of Los Angeles, Calif. The Glee star rented a pontoon boat for her and her 4-year-old son, Josey, but never returned from a swimming excursion with her boy. According to investigators, it's believed she saved her son's life over her own when the boat started to drift as there are currents in the lake in the afternoons.

"We believe it was mid-afternoon when she disappeared, the idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting — it was unanchored — and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on to the boat, but not enough to save herself," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub shared at Monday's press conference.

Rivera's son told investigators that he and his mum had been swimming and that she "boosted him" onto the deck of the boat from behind. "He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," Ayub noted.

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A view of Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 where the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after taking her son boating on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
Ventura County sheriffs work at Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after taking her son boating on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
Third boat from left, cordoned off with police tape, is believed to be the boat actress Naya Rivera and her son rented on July 8 as the search for her body continues at Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
A patrol boat is seen on Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
A Ventura County officer is working by Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
A helicopter flies over Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
A helicopter flies over Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: A boat is docked and roped off with police tape at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department this is believed to the boat that was rented by Rivera. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
A boat is seen on Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: Sergeant Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department speaks during a press conference at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
A bird flies through a boat cordoned off with police tape believed to be the boat actress Naya Rivera and her son rented on July 8 is seen as the search for her body continues at Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: Sergeant Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department speaks during a press conference at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: Sergeant Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department speaks during a press conference at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: Sergeant Kevin Donoghue of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department speaks during a press conference at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
A patrol boat is seen on Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
A view of Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials gather at the boating dock of Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: Boats with emergency workers search Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials gather at the boating dock of Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 as the search continues for actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: A sign warns visitor of hazards for swimming and wading at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
A helicopter searches over Lake Piru in Ventura County, California on July 9, 2020 for former Glee actress Naya Rivera, who was reported missing after going boating with her son on July 8. - "Glee" star Naya Rivera is missing and feared drowned at a California lake, where divers, patrol boats and helicopters resumed their search for the US actress on June 9. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flies over Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
PIRU, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: Sheriff’s department vehicles and a helicopter sit in a parking lot along with emergency workers at Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, on July 9, 2020 in Piru, California. Rivera, known for her role in "Glee," was reported missing July 8 after her four-year-old son, Josey, was found alone in a boat rented by Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating a search and recovery operation. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
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While friends and family are mourning Rivera's death, many are not surprised her last act was a selfless one. She often talked about her special bond with her son.

Earlier on Tuesday, Glee creatorsRyan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan shared an emotional tribute, saying they're "heartbroken over the loss of our friend Naya Rivera."

"Naya wasn't a series regular when we cast her on Glee," they recalled in a joint statement to Yahoo Entertainment. "She didn't have more than a few lines in the pilot. But it didn't take more than an episode or two for us to realise that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with. Naya could act, she could dance and she could sing (could she ever sing!). She could nail a joke as well as she could crush you with an emotional scene. She could move between being scary tough and deeply vulnerable with ease. She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around."

Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan honoured some of Rivera's "iconic" musical performances — like the Adele mash up, Valerie and Songbird — but said Rivera's "greatest Glee legacy is probably the humour and humanity that she brought to Santana's relationship with her best friend and eventual girlfriend/wife Brittany (played by Heather Morris)."

"It was one of the first times an openly lesbian, high school relationship was seen on network television and Naya understood what 'Brittana' meant to the many young women who were seeing themselves represented on television for the first time. Naya always made sure that Santana's love for Brittany was expressed with dignity, strength and with pure intentions. Naya was always moved by the girls who reached out to her to tell her how much Santana and Brittany's love affected them. Naya's obligation to them — and to all of her fans was obvious. She had the rare combination of humility and endless confidence in her talent," they continued.

"Naya was a real pro. Always on time, always knew her lines (which wasn't easy considering the giant mouthfuls of dialogue we often gave her), always kept everyone laughing on the set. She was warm and caring and fiercely protective of the rest of the cast. She was tough and demanding. She was fun. She was kind. She was generous," they recalled. "There were ups and downs during the wonderful and stressful years we spent making Glee. We disagreed, we fought, we made up, then we fought some more, and then we made up again. The kinds of things that happen in a family. Naya was more than just an actor on our show — she was our friend."

Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan concluded by announcing they are working to set up a college fund for Rivera's son.

"Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mum, Yolanda who was big part of the Glee family and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all," they shared.

Rivera shares Josey Dorsey with ex-husband, actor Ryan Dorsey. He will turn five in September.

Naya Rivera used her final moments to save her son, investigators say.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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