Lea Michele and Jane Lynch led the tributes to Glee co-star Naya Rivera on Monday, after her body was recovered from a California lake.
Rachel Berry actress Lea, 33, who is expecting her first child, posted a photo tribute dedicated to Naya and her late boyfriend Cory Monteith, who died in 2013.
Naya’s body was recovered on Monday after she disappeared during a lake outing with her son Josey last week. The day also marked the seventh anniversary of Cory’s death from a heroin overdose.
Tribute: Lea Michele (above) and Jane Lynch led the tributes to Glee co-star Naya Rivera on Monday, after her body was recovered from a California lake
Costar: Lea, who deleted her Twitter account in recent days, posted this photo of Naya (who played Santana Lopez) from their time on Glee
Days after deleting her Twitter account due to suspected trolling over Naya’s disappearance, Lea took to Instagram to post black and white snaps of the late actors on set. Naya played Santana Lopez in the show.
Lea and Cory were dating when he passed away in 2013 from an accidental drug overdose. He was 31.
The first image Lea shared showed Cory holding a bouquet of flowers while standing on a bridge in Central Park, New York.
The next photo she shared showed Naya looking camera-ready and gazing down while seemingly hanging out backstage during their time on Glee.
A third snap was of Lea, Naya and several other Glee stars sitting on a bench overlooking the beach.
Respect: Glee star Jane Lynch was the first to pay her respects as she took to Twitter on Monday morning to write: ‘Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family’
Lost love: Lea shared this black and white snap of Cory, who she was dating at the time of his death from a drug overdose in 213
Memories: A third photo showed Lea with Naya and other Glee stars on a bench overlooking the beach
Tragedy: Monteith, who was dating costar Lea at the time of his death, was found unresponsive in a hotel room in Vancouver after an accidental heroin overdose. The couple are pictured in 2012
Devastating: Police confirmed that a body pulled from Lake Piru on Monday is indeed the 33-year-old actress just six days after she vanished (pictured 2013)
The 33-year-old actress, who is currently expecting her first child, didn’t share a message with the photos.
It’s been a rough few weeks for Lea following accusations of bullying on set of the high school musical series, which wrapped in 2015.
She deleted her Twitter account after allegedly receiving abusive messages from fans of Naya following her disappearance on July 8.
Naya accused Lea of hostile behaviour during their Glee days in her 2016 book Sorry Not Sorry, however, they seemed to be on good terms in recent months.
Meanwhile, ‘7 years without Cory’ started trending on Twitter on Monday as fans honored the tragic actor while also praying for the safe return of Naya – hours before the tragic news broke that her body had been discovered in the lake and she likely drowned.
Tragic: Glee fans expressed their shock after news broke that Cory’s costar Naya Rivera’s body was found on Monday
Not okay: This person, like many fans, were shocked that the discovery came on the seventh anniversary of Cory’s death
Some of the cast of Glee gathered at Lake Piru on Monday after Naya’s body was discovered
Squad: Naya, Lea and Jane starred on the Fox series from 2009 to 2015; Naya as cheerleader Santana Lopez, 59-year-old Lynch as coach Sue Sylvester and Lea as Rachel Berry
When news broke that Naya’s body had been recovered at the Lake Piru, where she went missing on July 8, fans expressed their shock on social media.
‘So sad that its been confirmed Naya has passed away and 7 years today since Corys passing. Now there [sic] both shining stars and angels in Heaven, Sleep tight an Godbless #RIPNayaRivera #NayaRivera #CoryMonteith.’ one person posted on Twitter with a photo of the costars placing a star on a Christmas tree.
‘My heart breaks for her family and all her friends and to be found on this day holds pain still for many as cory monteith was found dead :(‘ came another message.
Bond: Some of Rivera’s Glee castmates went to the lake on Monday morning after authorities recovered a body. They held hands on the shore while waiting for confirmation of the identity of the body
Sad: Authorities carry the body from a boat on Monday morning to be taken for formal identification
Downtrodden: Lynch was seen on a solo outing in Los Angeles on Monday
‘The fact that Naya’s body was found on the same day Cory Monteith died is shaking me to my core.’
Cory played Finn Hudson on Glee from 2009 up until his sudden death.
The actor was found unresponsive after failing to check-out of the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver.
The preliminary autopsy report stated that Monteith died from ‘a mixed drug toxicity’ consisting of heroin and alcohol. He also had morphine and codeine in his system.
Unseen forces: Kevin McHale tweeted Monday he believes Cory Monteith, pictured left filming Glee, played a part in leading searchers to the body of Naya Rivera, pictured right, on the seventh anniversary of his own passing from an accidental overdose
No coincidence: McHale, 32, said Monteith and Rivera were ‘the male and female versions of one another’
Jane Lynch, who played coach Sue Sylvester on the show, was the first to pay her respects as she took to Twitter on Monday morning to write: ‘Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.’
They both starred on the Fox series from 2009 to 2015; Naya as cheerleader Santana Lopez and 59-year-old Lynch as coach Sue Sylvester.
The actress’s family rushed to the lake on Monday morning and some of her Glee castmates, including Heather Morris, were also there.
Max Adler, who played football player Dav Karofsky, continued the social media tributes as he posted several broken heart and crying emojis.
Felt her loss: : McHale praised ‘quick-witted’ Rivera for saving her ‘beautiful little boy’ from drowning in a heartfelt social media tribute
Joshua Sussman – who portrayed Jacob Ben Israel in the Fox series – wrote: ‘[Broken heart emoji] Naya, you will be missed so much [sad face emoji]’
Meanwhile, Glee actor Kevin McHale revealed in a tweet Monday night that he believes Monteith played a part in leading searchers to the actress on the seventh anniversary of his own passing.
Searchers discovered Rivera after an extensive six-day search at the remote lake outside of Los Angeles.
‘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 tweeted.
He went on: ‘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.’
In a touching tribute to Rivera, McHale praised his late co-star for her ‘quick-witted’ actions in making sure to save her son Josey, four, before herself.
‘The way that she loved her boy, it was truly Naya at her most peaceful,’ he wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post. ‘I’m thankful that Naya got that beautiful little boy back on that boat.’
He added: ‘I’m thankful he will have a strong family around him to protect him and tell him about his incredible mom.’
A day prior, Rivera’s co-star Amber Patrice Riley took to Twitter to urge her followers to show some respect for Naya’s family and friends.
She 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.’
Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina Cohen-Chang on Glee, posted a lengthy statement about Naya, writing in part, ‘There are no words and yet so many things I want to say, I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to articulate exactly what I feel but… Naya, you were a [lightning] force.
She continued: ‘Everyone who got to be around you knew it and felt the light and joy you exuded when you walked into a room. You shined on stage and screen and radiated with love behind closed doors.’
‘I was lucky enough to share so many laughs, martinis and secrets with you. I can not believe I took for granted that you’d always be here,’ Jenna wrote. ‘Our friendship went in waves as life happens and we grow, so I will not look back and regret but know I love you and promise to help the legacy of your talent, humor, light and loyalty live on.’
She concluded: ‘You are so loved. You deserved the world and we will make sure Josey and your family feel that everyday. I miss you already.’
Other celebs paid tribute including Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish who wrote: ‘Rest In Peace and power, Naya [sad face and broken heart emojis]’
The Ventura County Sheriff Twitter announced the grim discovery on Twitter, saying: ‘A body has been found at Lake Piru this morning.
‘The recovery is in progress.’
Rivera vanished on Wednesday on Lake Piru after taking a pontoon boat out on the water with her four-year-old son Josey.
Josey was later found alone, sleeping on the boat, by another group who noticed it drifting.
Search and rescue teams have spent the last six days combing the lake for traces of the actress but struggled against poor visibility and the sheer size of the lake.
On Monday, they honed in on a cove where the actress had taken a photograph of Josey and sent it to a relative 90 minutes before he was found on the boat.
They focused their search on that cove on Monday.
The actress grew up 20 miles from the lake and was familiar with it, police sources said last week.
She thought of it as her ‘sanctuary’, despite it being known for rip currents and icy waters that can overpower swimmers.
On Sunday, Naya’s distraught family were seen at the lake trying to assist investigators in their search for her.
Josey told police that his mother ‘jumped in’ and never came back up to the surface.
He was wearing a life jacket but the actress’s was on the pontoon when it was recovered.
‘There was a picture sent to a family member that showed the boy on the boat by a cove. We found where that cove was,’ Robert Inglis of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team told Us Weekly.
He previously said: ‘What I suspect is that the winds kicked up.
‘Those pontoon boats are very light, and when you push them, it can get away from you. She might’ve tried to swim after the boat. But that’s all speculation. Once we do locate her, that’ll answer a lot more questions.’
Police have not shared the image and it’s unclear which cove it was taken in. Over the weekend, they asked members of the public not to go looking for the star themselves in the dangerous water.
The actress’s father George on Sunday appeared to help co-ordinate the hunt for his missing daughter after police confirmed ‘nothing came’ of their search of cabins along Lake Piru.
Darren Criss, who starred with Naya on Glee, shared his own thoughts on her death in a Twitter thread.
‘She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun,’ he wrote. ‘Naya made me laugh like no one else on that set. I always said it while we were working together and I’ve maintained it ever since. Her playful, wicked sense of humor never ceased to bring a smile to my face.’
He added that he ‘always loved her voice, and savored every chance I got to hear her sing.’
‘I think she had more talent than we would have ever been able to see,’ he wrote.
‘I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends. She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn’t have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now.
‘And even as I sit here, struggling to comprehend, gutted beyond description- the very thought of her cracks me up and still brings a smile to my face. That was Naya’s gift. And it’s a gift that will never go away. Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel,’ he finished.
On Monday Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub confirmed Naya’s body had been recovered from the lake.
He said there was no indication of foul play and no indication it was a suicide.
Another Glee alum, Mark Salling, who played Puck on Glee, killed himself in 2018 after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.
Naya disappeared during a boating outing with her son Josey, four (pictured together earlier this year) last Wednesday at Lake Piru just north of Los Angeles
Gone too soon: Naya played Santana Lopez on Glee during its six season run and Cory played Finn Hudson from season one up until his sudden death in 2013
Naya is pictured with costars Heather Morris and Dianna Agron (with Chris Colfer and Amber Riley seated) in an episode of Glee which ran from 2009 to 2015