Naya Rivera's Fans Hold Emotional Vigil at California Lake Where Actress Drowned
Fans of Naya Rivera gathered to pay their respects to the late actress.
Traveling to Lake Piru — where the Glee star's body was found on July 13, five days after she disappeared during a boating trip with her 4-year-old son — a group of fans held a vigil for Rivera on Saturday.
Photos from the vigil show white balloons, floral displays and works of art honoring Rivera, as well as a rainbow flag with the words “Thank you, Naya,” written on it alongside many handwritten names — a nod to Rivera’s role as high school cheerleader Santana Lopez, a character beloved by many in the LGBTQ community.
Over the show's six seasons, Santana evolved as she came to terms with her sexuality, and after developing feelings for her best friend Brittany Pierce, played by Rivera’s pal Heather Morris, Santana came out in a 2011 episode.
“Without Glee, I swear I would not be here. I would not be alive. That’s just a fact,” one fan said at the vigil, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“After seeing them on TV, I was like it is okay to be different,” said another fan.
Rivera was reported missing on July 8, after her son Josey was found alone on a pontoon boat at the Southern California lake, where the pair had been swimming. After Josey was found, he told investigators that while he got back in the boat after they had been swimming, she did not.
A day later, authorities announced that Rivera was presumed dead.
RELATED VIDEO: Naya Rivera's Cause of Death Ruled as Accidental Drowning
On July 14, the Ventura County Medical Examiner announced that an autopsy had been conducted and revealed Rivera's death was ruled an accidental drowning.
The star was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles on July 24, according to her death certificate, which was previously obtained by PEOPLE.
The document, filed in Ventura County, California, confirmed that Rivera's cause of death was "drowning" and states that she died within a matter of "[minutes]."