As parents, we’re willing to do everything we can for our kids—including, if necessary, risking our own lives and safety for theirs. So when we heard that celeb mom Naya Rivera died saving her four-year-old son Josey, it definitely hit home.
For those who haven’t been following the story, the 33-year-old actor from Glee was reported missing on July 8 when the rental pontoon she had taken out on California’s Lake Piru wasn’t returned on time. The boat had been found drifting in the man-made lake with only her son aboard and no sign of Naya. After a five-day search, the Ventura County Sheriff’s office announced in a press conference yesterday that they had recovered a body they strongly believed to be Naya’s.
During the announcement, Sheriff Bill Ayub said that they know from interviewing her son that he and his mom had gone swimming in the lake at some point that day. “It was during that time, her son described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind,” Ayub recounted. “He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.”
Later during the Q&A portion of the conference, Sheriff Ayub speculated that Naya and her son had been swimming in the lake when the boat began to drift away from currents that typically occur in the lake during the afternoon. According to the sheriff, it’s believed that she “mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself.”
It’s tragic how this young mother’s story ended, but we totally get how she made the decision to prioritize her son’s safety over her own. Hopefully, her story serves as reminder that water safety is no joke and no matter how strong a swimmer you may be, taking the necessary safety precautions like wearing a life jacket or personal floatation device is always important.
Rest in peace, Naya. Our hearts go out to you and your family.