On Monday (July 13), Naya Rivera was confirmed dead after her body was discovered in Lake Piru. The 33-year-old Glee actress had been missing since the previous Wednesday (July 8) after taking her 4-year-old son Josey on a boat ride.
The day her body was found, Rivera’s co-star and close friend Heather Morris was photographed praying with Rivera’s family and friends at the scene of her disappearance. Morris, who played Rivera’s love interest on Glee for six seasons, also reached out to the Ventura police department on Twitter to offer her help searching for her friend in the days after her disappearance. On Thursday (July 16), Morris made a public statement on her Instagram account about her close friend’s tragic death.
“We started out as the closest friends and then like all new things, we went through a bit of a rocky phase. However, we stuck by each other’s side and created the most beautiful friendship built out of love and understanding,” Morris began her heartfelt tribute. She explained that both she and Rivera hated taking pictures, so, she shared a few images of their sons playing together instead. “I’m showing the world a photo of our little goof balls for you, because I know that meant more than anything and they remind me of you and I,” she wrote. “I speak to you everyday because I know you’re still with me and even though I’m feeling greedy that we don’t get more time together, I cherish every moment we had and hold it close to my heart.”
Morris also shared her final interaction with Rivera, as well. “The last I had the chance to see you in person, I had left oranges outside our home for you to take,” she shared. “I wanted to say hi through the window but my phone didn’t ring when you called (which it never does, f***ing T-Mobile), so instead you and Josey left two succulents on our doorstep as a thank you. I planted those succulents and I look at them everyday and think of you.”
Morris told her followers that she listens to Rivera’s EP “on repeat because from the moment I heard it, it struck me and I always wished the world knew more of your voice.” She went on to call Rivera the “strongest and most resilient human being I know.”
“You constantly taught me lessons about grief, about beauty and poise, about being strong, resilient and about not giving a f–k (but still somehow respectful ),” Morris continued. “Yet, the utmost important lesson I learned most of all from you was being a consistent and loving friend. You were the first to check in, the first to ask questions, the first to listen..you cherished our friendship and I never took that for granted.”