‘Glee’ star believes Cory Monteith helped ‘find’ Naya Rivera
"Glee" actor Kevin McHale said he believes his late co-star Cory Monteith helped "find" Naya Rivera - because her body was recovered on the anniversary of his death.
"I'm not religious by any means, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory didn't help find our girl today," McHale posted on Twitter late on Monday, local time.
I'm not religious by any means, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that Cory didn't help find our girl today. These 2, in many ways, were the male and female versions of one another. So nice, cared deeply, were stupidly talented, the most fun, and really really good people. https://t.co/qsvThOJxL7— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 14, 2020
Rivera's body was pulled Monday from the waters of California's Lake Piru exactly seven years to the day after Monteith died of a drug overdose.
Rivera portrayed Santana Lopez on the Fox series alongside McHale, who played Artie Abrams, and Monteith, who starred as Finn Hudson until his death in 2013.
My Naya, my Snixxx, my Bee. I legitimately can not imagine this world without you. pic.twitter.com/qX9t1Uhx01— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 14, 2020
McHale said the two deceased co-stars shared a special bond and "in many ways, were the male and female versions of one other."
RIVERA 'SAVED SON' IN FINAL MOMENTS
Officials believe that former Glee actress Naya Rivera, died trying to save her son by getting him on their drifting boat after they had spent some time in the afternoon swimming.
"We believe it was mid-afternoon when she went swimming, the idea being, perhaps, that the boat began drifting … and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself," Ventura County Sheriff William Ayub said after the discovery of her body Monday local time.
He added that her son Josey "described being helped into the boat by Naya, who boosted him onto the deck from behind. He looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water".
The Glee actress' body was found floating near the surface in the northeastern corner of Lake Piru, about six days after she went missing during a trip with her four-year-old, Sheriff Ayub said.
Rivera, 33, went missing on Wednesday during a boating trip with her son.
He was found asleep on their pontoon-style boat but there was no trace of her.
Police believe the boat might have drifted away from the pair while they swam together and that Rivera managed to push Josey back into the boat, but she didn't have energy left to save herself.
"The boat started drifting … she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to save herself," the sheriff told reporters.
The actress's family rushed to the lake when it was announced a body had been found and some of her Glee castmates, including Heather Morris, were also there.
They held hands on the shore while waiting for more information from the star's family and from the authorities. Rivera was found on the seventh anniversary of Naya's former co-star Cory Monteith's death.
The Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub confirmed that based on the location of the body, physical characteristics, and clothing, the body was Rivera's.
"There was no indication that this was a suicide or foul play," he said, adding that a positive identification would be made via dental records at the Medical Examiner's office.
Sheriff Ayub said her little son recalled how his mum "boosted him onto deck from behind" before he "saw her disappear under surface of water" after they went swimming.
Earlier, Ventura County Captain Eric Buschow confirmed boat crews and divers found remains "floating" in the water, saying an autopsy would be conducted at a later time.
Sheriff Ayub said her body was found in the northeastern portion of the lake - which is 20m deep - an "empty canyon" of growth.
"We believe she was concealed within some of the shrubbery on the floor bed of the lake," he said.
On Monday, local time, the Ventura County Sheriff posted the news on Twitter on the morning of the sixth day of searching after the actress vanished while boating with her young son.
Happening now: A body has been found at Lake Piru this morning. The recovery is in progress. A news conference will take place at 2 pm at the lake.— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 13, 2020
Today's search for Naya Rivera has concluded. The operation will continue Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/YZ3TTqhOUI— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 13, 2020
"When you have a situation like this and it ends up being a recovery, it's hard for everybody involved. I can't even imagine what it's like for the family," Capt Buschow said. "Hopefully this provides some level of closure, whatever that means, for the family."
It comes as Rivera was found to have texted a photo to a relative shortly before vanishing, according to a report in Us Weekly.
Rivera took a photo of her son, Josey, near a cove on Lake Piru about 90 minutes to two hours before he was found alone and sleeping on the rented boat.
The photo provided an important clue about the location of Rivera's final moments.
"We found where that cove was," Robert Inglis of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team said.
Search crews used the background of the photo to help focus on the spot Rivera went missing.
Dive members were sent to those two locations and searched them extensively.
"There's no evidence to say she left the water. It appears to be 100 per cent just a tragic drowning," Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Shannon King told People.
"We interviewed her son and there was nothing that we learned from her son that would have suggested that this was suicide," Ventura County Sheriff's Office sergeant Kevin Donoghue told People.
"Everything that we've learned so far leads to this being some sort of water recreational accident.
"To say definitively what actually happened, we really can't say. We just don't know, it's a mystery," he said.
"We're still investigating, we're still searching. We're trying to uncover clues as we go.
"But so far, we really don't have a lot of information to make any guesses as to what could have happened."
STAR'S FINAL MOMENTS REVEALED
Footage also emerged of Rivera's chilling final moments. Security video, released by the Ventura County Sherrif's office, showed Rivera arriving at the Lake Piru car park in her black Mercedes G-Wagon.
In it, she opens the passenger door and helps her son out of the vehicle, before the pair made their way towards the dock.
After talking to staff, they boarded the boat and are seen heading north on the lake, in the footage.
US authorities used side-scanning sonar technology and cadaver dogs in their six-day search for Rivera across Lake Piru, which is more than three kilometres long and 40 metres at its deepest point.
1/2 Here’s the ROV used by @TulareSheriff in the search for Naya Rivera at Lake Piru today. This is one of many resources being used, along with side scan sonar, dogs, and divers. pic.twitter.com/LkeI04HIMJ— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 11, 2020
Captain Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's office said the side-scanning sonar technology provides crews with a detailed image, which then allows them to "focus on specific things rather than putting divers in the water when they are feeling around because they can't see."
Authorities also posted underwater footage to detail just how difficult visibility is at the lake.
'TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED'
Rivera shared a post with fans in the days before she disappeared telling them "tomorrow is not promised."
Her haunting words were posted just five days before authorities launched a search for the actress.
"No matter the year, circumstance, or strifes, everyday you're alive is a blessing," Rivera wrote on Instagram. "Make the most of today and every day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised."
no matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you're alive is a blessing. make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised pic.twitter.com/O4t7wdqA4k— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 2, 2020
And barely a day ago, the star had shared a picture of herself and son, Josey, writing, "Just the two of us".
Ventura County Deputy Sheriff Chris Dyer said that the lake was a "sanctuary" for Rivera, and that she was very familiar with it and had been going there for years.
"Especially on a Wednesday - no one's here on a Wednesday so it's a good day to come. She rented the boat.
Some reports said Rivera's possessions including a purse, wallet and food were found on the boat. Another wallet is said to have been left in Rivera's car, a Mercedes G-Wagon which was still parked in a nearby car park.
The star's ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, was seen holding Josey as he left Rivera's sister's LA home.
HOLLYWOOD REACTS TO STAR'S DISAPPEARANCE
Hollywood stars have taken to social media to express their devastation at the shock disappearance of the former Glee star.
It is the latest in a series of tragedies to hit the cast of the popular show.
The star's young son Josey Hollis Dorsey was found asleep and alone on a boat on Lake Piru, in Southern California.
Rivera's former Glee co-star Heather Morris said: "We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back to us … we need your love and light."
Fellow Glee star, Harry Shum Jr, who played Mike Chang, wrote "praying", as Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins) and Max Adler (David Karofsky) also posted concerned messages on social media.
Rivera's ex-fiancee Big Sean didn't comment directly on the tragedy but liked a series of tweets demanding that the search for her should continue.
Zack Teperman, a publicist who said Rivera was "one of the first people I had the honour of working with", said he was "in complete disbelief and shock right now".
"Was just messaging Naya a few weeks back. This can't be true. Prayers for her little boy," he said last night.
POPULAR SHOW 'CURSED'
Glee has been hit by a string of tragedies, scandals and heartbreak, spanning the deaths of multiple cast members under tragic circumstances, criminal charges, and a recent tabloid controversy involving the show's main star, Lea Michele.
The so-called Glee curse seemingly began in 2013 with the sudden death of Cory Monteith - who played Finn Hudson - from an accidental alcohol and heroin overdose.
Monteith's death, aged 31, in a hotel room in Vancouver, was written into Glee via an episode titled "The Quarterback", though the show never revealed how his character died.
The discovery of Rivera's body has occurred, coincidentally, on the seventh anniversary of Monteith's death, according to the New York Post.
In 2017, Rivera's ex-boyfriend, Mark Salling - who played the character of Noah "Puck" Puckerman - pleaded guilty to child porn possession charges.
He was found to have downloaded thousands of illicit images over eight months in 2015.
And in 2016, the New York Post reported that a woman had accused Salling of forcing her to have sex with him at a hotel four years prior.
He was not charged with rape, as the LA County district attorney cited a delay in reporting the attack and insufficient evidence, according to the New York Post.
Salling killed himself in January 2018, aged 35, while he was awaiting sentencing on the child pornography charges.
In her memoir Sorry Not Sorry, Rivera - who played Santana Lopez - revealed: "When Mark dumped me, I thought it was the worst thing ever, but can you imagine if that didn't happen?"
"And I was laying there in bed when the battering ram came through the door?" she said, referring to his arrest.
Rivera also wrote in the tell-all that she had no regrets about her past relationships: "Unless, of course, that relationship was with someone who had a sizeable stash of child porn on his computer. Then, by all means, regret everything".
Last month, Michele - who played Rachel Berry in the series - was the subject of a huge gossip scandal, with multiple co-stars accusing her of on-set bullying and diva-like behaviour.
Former Glee guest star Samantha Ware blasted star Michele, 33, on Twitter, saying she made Ware's time on the show "a living hell".
She accused Michele of "traumatic" behaviour including threatening to "sh*t in my wig", in response to Michele's tweet supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
"While I don't remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or colour of their skin, that's not really the point," Michele said, in a poorly-received apology on social media.
"What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people."
The scandal promoted a string of other former co-stars to make similar accusations against Michele, who is pregnant with her first child, causing her to be sacked from social media endorsements.
Michele was also said to have had a feud with Rivera on the set of Glee, though Rivera wrote in her memoir: "I don't hate Lea, and I never have".
"She had a hard time separating work from our outside friendship, whereas it was a lot easier for me," Rivera wrote.
"Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and sometimes it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong."
Originally published as 'Glee' star believes Cory Monteith helped 'find' Naya Rivera
2/2 Here’s an example of the underwater visibility at a 30-foot depth in Lake Piru. pic.twitter.com/YGNNUdmPQ4— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 11, 2020