As news spread that a body was recovered in Lake Piru, where actress Naya Rivera went missing days earlier, the star’s Glee castmates took to social media the mourn the suspected loss and pay tribute to their friend. Rivera starred as Santana Lopez on the hit musical comedy-drama series for all 6 seasons, from 2009 until 2015.
On July 13, a Ventura County official confirmed that the body found in the lake was in fact Naya Rivera; she died at the age of 33. Rivera was reported missing after her 4-year-old son was found sleeping alone in a boat they had rented on the lake. He told authorities that he and his mother were swimming but she did not get back into the boat.
Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) July 13, 2020
Before the body was identified, Jane Lynch (who played Sue Sylvester on the show) took to Twitter to expressed her remorse for Rivera’s presumed passing. In a tweet, Lynch wrote, “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”
💔 Naya, you will be missed so much. 😞
— Josh Sussman (@JoshSussman) July 13, 2020
Josh Sussman, who played recurring character Jacob Ben Israel, also shared a brief tribute on Twitter. He said, “Naya, you will be missed so much;” the tweet included a broken heart emoji.
Rivera’s ‘Glee’ Castmates Gathered at Lake Piru to Mourn After Her Body Was Recovered
This photo of the cast of #Glee gathering together at Lake Piru today where #NayaRivera’s body was found is incredibly powerful — especially when you consider today is the 7 year anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death. I’m a mess. pic.twitter.com/RhY9hUb78E
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) July 13, 2020
After the tragic announcement that the body recovered in Lake Piru was, in fact, the late Naya Rivera, TMZ reported that members of the Glee cast were spotted at Lake Piru holding hands in mourning for their late friend and co-star.
Dave Quinn shared a photo of several people from the cast standing alongside Rivera’s family members, remarking that the image “is incredibly powerful — especially when you consider today is the 7 year anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death.”
Cory Monteith, who starred as Finn Hudson on Glee, passed away on July 13, 2013 at the age of 33 following an overdose.
When News Spread That Rivera Was Missing, Her Co-Stars Shared Messages ‘Praying for Her Safe Return’
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. ♥️ https://t.co/DXsUj3qdCh
— Kevin McHale (@druidDUDE) July 12, 2020
While the search for Rivera was underway in and around Lake Piru, Rivera’s Glee co-stars Kevin McHale and Amber Riley reacted to criticisms about their social media silence in the wake of her disappearance. In a tweet, Riley wrote, “Show some respect. All our energy is going toward helping find Naya and praying for her safe return and for her family. 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 the message, adding some words of his own: “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.”
Amber Riley starred alongside Rivera as Mercedes Jones, and Kevin McHale starred in the series regular role Artie Abrams.
Heather Morris, who played Naya’s best friend and eventual love interest, Brittany S. Pierce, shared a timelapse video of the sky on Instagram, with the hashtag “#bringnayahome.”