Glee actor Naya Rivera shouted for help before drowning - autopsy report

Naya Rivera.
Naya Rivera. Photo credit: Getty Images

Glee star Naya Rivera waved her arms and screamed for help before she drowned in a California lake in July, according to an autopsy report.

On July 8, the actor and her four-year-old son Josey rented a pontoon boat and took it out on Lake Piru. Her son was later found alone in the boat and Rivera's body was recovered the following week.

According to a report from Ventura County Medical Examiner released on Friday (local time), the 33-year-old actor and her son jumped into the lake to swim. But shortly after, Rivera told him to get back into the boat.

"She helped him onto the boat and he then heard [Rivera] yell 'help' and she put her arm in the air. She then disappeared into the water," the report said, according to CNN.

Her death was determined to be an accident, her autopsy report said, and she didn't have a "known history of suicidal ideation or attempt".

"Based on the autopsy findings, known circumstances surrounding the death, and absence of anatomic or toxicological explanation for the death, as currently understood, the cause of death is drowning, and the manner of death is accident," it said.

Rivera had recently been taking medication for a sinus infection. The report also said she had vertigo that became worse when she was in water, but she was considered to be a good swimmer.

She was offered a life jacket but declined to wear it. A boat rental employee told investigators he gave Rivera a life jacket anyway even though she didn't want one. She wasn't wearing it when her body was recovered and authorities found the vest when searching the boat.

Hours after she drowned, the employee went to check on the boat because it had passed the time it was due to be returned. They found Josey asleep on the boat in a towel and wearing a life jacket.

Rivera's disappearance led to a six-day search that ended in the discovery of her body in the northeast area of the lake.