'Glee' stars hold hands together at lake where Naya Rivera is believed to have died

Several of Rivera's former co-stars gathered at Lake Piru on Monday to pay their respects.
Image: Cast members from the show "Glee" and friends gathered at the boat launch
Cast members from the TV Show "Glee" and friends held hands as they shouted "Say her name - Naya" as they gathered on the Lake Piru boat launch on July 13, 2020 in Piru, Calif.Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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By Samantha Kubota

As they mourned the loss of their “Glee” co-star, Naya Rivera, several cast members visited Lake Piru in California to say their goodbyes.

Officials said they believed they had located Rivera’s body on Monday after days of searching the lake, some 50 miles northwest of Hollywood.

In photos captured by local photographers, the somber stars and their friends held hands on the shores of Lake Piru near where Rivera had parked and rented a boat with her son, 4-year-old Josey.

Rivera's former co-stars also posted several tributes to her on social media.

"I love you and promise to help the legacy of your talent, humor, light and loyalty live on," Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina Cohen-Chang on the show, wrote on Instagram. "You are so loved. You deserved the world and we will make sure Josey and your family feel that everyday. I miss you already."

Officials speculated Monday that Rivera might have spent her last moments saving her son.

“It would be speculation to say at this point. There are a lot of currents on the lake that appear particularly in the afternoon,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said, adding Rivera had been out on the lake in the mid-afternoon. “The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting — it was unanchored — and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat but not enough to safe herself.”

Rivera’s family has visited the lake during the search and recovery mission, Ayub confirmed.

“Her family has been at the lake every day, holding out hope and communicating with our investigators and our staff,” he said.

Rivera’s father, at one point, ran into the water and started swimming while they awaited an update, NBC News reported.

Ayub added they had taken the family out to see where Rivera’s body was found, an area called “The Narrows.”

He explained it was a tributary of the lake that used to be dry and had extensive plant growth — 15 to 20 feet in height — that had made it difficult for divers to locate her body.

“That was an empty canyon…so you had a lot of growth that sprung up there,” Ayub explained. “when the lake refilled with water, that growth remained and made it very very difficult…to search that area.”

Ayub said there was no indication of foul play or suicide, and an autopsy will be performed to determine the official cause of her death.