Kevin McHale believes his late Glee co-star Cory Monteith helped divers find Naya Rivera’s body in Lake Piru on what was the seventh anniversary of his death Monday.
After her disappearance last Wednesday, authorities finally found a body they believe to be Rivera’s during a search of a cove in the lake in Ventura County, Calif.
According to the local sheriff, Rivera is believed to have saved her four-year-old son Josey by getting him back onto the boat before drowning herself. Josey was found asleep on the pontoon boat after he and Rivera, 33, took a trip out onto the lake earlier in the day.
Following confirmation of her death, Rivera’s nearest and dearest flocked to social media to pay their respects, with McHale admitting he thinks Monteith had something to do with the discovering of his friend’s remains.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday night.
“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.”
Monteith died of an accidental drug overdose in 2013, aged 31.
McHale earlier penned a lengthy tribute to Rivera, noting they had been together when they received word of Monteith’s death.
“7 years ago today, she and I were together in London when we found out about Cory. We were so far away, but I was so thankful that we had each other. A week ago today we were talking about running away to Hawaii. This doesn’t make sense. And I know it probably never will,” McHale wrote.
Glee star Chris Colfer, who was among Rivera’s closest friends on the show, heaped praise on his friend.
Posting a photo of the two Glee stars together on set, Colfer wrote: “How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t. Her brilliance and humor were unmatched.
“Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark. She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor.”
Colfer added: “Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be. Sending all my love to her wonderful family and her beautiful son.”
Pregnant Lea Michele also marked her late co-star’s death on Monday as part of a photo montage she posted on social media, which also featured an image of her dead boyfriend and Glee castmate Monteith, who died after suffering an accidental overdose on the same day in 2013.
Michele, who famously didn’t get along with Rivera, also posted a shot of Naya and another of the Glee cast sitting on a bench.
Another former Glee castmate, Jenna Ushkowitz, also paid tribute to her friend and former co-star.
The 34-year-old actress took to Instagram late on Monday and wrote: “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 force and 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. 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. You are so loved. You deserved the world and we will make sure Josey and your family feel that everyday. I miss you already.”
Co-star Amber Riley admitted she was struggling to find the right words to express her emotions at the difficult time, and instead posted a heartbreaking video of the actress singing alongside Josey — her son with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey.
“My favourite duet partner,” Riley wrote alongside it. “I love you. I miss you. I don’t have words right now, just lots of feelings. Rest In Peace Angel, and know that your family will never have to worry about anything.”
Jane Lynch, who played cheer coach Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” tweeted: “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”
Alex Newell, best known as Unique Adams on “Glee,” encouraged others to lift up Rivera’s family during this time. “My heart is sent to them … Josey you are truly loved by every single person who loves your mommy! I love you Naya!”
Demi Lovato also remembered her time working with Rivera on Glee in a heartfelt tribute to the late star.
Lovato who starred as Dani in the TV show, took to Twitter to pay tribute to the mom-of-one, admitting she’ll “forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee.”
“The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world,” Demi shared. “My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.”
— With files from WENN