Rivera drowned in July while boating with her 4-year-old son. She was swimming in the lake with him, but then put him back in the boat they had rented. The Ventura County Medical Examiner autopsy states the boy saw his mother put her arm up in the air and yell “Help.” “The decedent then disappeared into the water.”
Authorities previously said that Rivera drowned accidentally, but the report is the first mention of a cry for help. The report indicates Rivera “knew how to swim well.”
The 33-year-old Rivera had health problems, including vertigo, a recent sinus infection, and had a small amount of prescribed amphetamines in her system. The autopsy did not claim those conditions or drugs as factors in her death.
Toxicology tests also showed she had small amounts of the anti-anxiety drug diazepam and the appetite suppressant phentermine in her system.
Rivera’s body was found floating in an area of the lake that is about 30 feet deep. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said it was likely she was trapped in thick vegetation underwater for several days before floating to the top.
Rivera’s death was the third of a major cast member of Glee, the Fox TV musical comedy. Rivera was a cast member from 2009 to 2015, playing a singing and dancing lesbian cheerleader.