Naya Rivera’s father describes ‘heartbreaking’ last FaceTime call before his daughter’s drowning

National News


(NEXSTAR) – Nearly a year after “Glee” actress Naya Rivera drowned in a boating accident, her father George Rivera is opening up about his final FaceTime call with his daughter before her death.

In an interview with People Magazine, the 64-year-old said that his daughter called him July 8th to ask for advice while enjoying an afternoon boating with her then 4-year-old son on Lake Piru, outside of Los Angeles.

“She would always bounce stuff off me,” Rivera said. “And she wanted to go swimming with Josey out in the middle of the lake.”

When his 33-year-old daughter told him the boat didn’t have an anchor, George Rivera, an avid boater himself, became anxious.

“I could see that the wind was blowing and my stomach was just cringing,” he recalled. “I kept telling her, ‘Don’t get out of the boat! Don’t get out of the boat! It will drift away when you’re in the water.'”

He said he managed to take a screenshot of his daughter’s smiling face against the bright blue sky before the call cut out.

“It was just heartbreaking,” Rivera said, recalling the growing dread he felt after he spoke with Naya.

Later that day another boater found Josey alone, asleep on pontoon boat and called 911. Search crews found his mother’s body in a 30-foot-deep section of the lake five days later.

An autopsy report stated that Rivera managed to get her son back on the boat but couldn’t pull herself up, raising her arm and calling for help before she disappeared into the water.

“It’s still pretty much a big blur of pain almost a year later,” George River told People. “Things are slowly coming a little more into focus, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find closure from this. I miss her every day.”

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