Naya Rivera’s father just revealed the heartbreaking circumstances of his final FaceTime call with his daughter, which happened right before her untimely passing.
Last summer, Rivera took her young son, Josey, out on a boat in Lake Piru just outside of Los Angeles. After the toddler was discovered on the boat all by himself, the actress was declared missing, with her body being discovered a few days later.
While the complete story of her death will probably always remain a mystery, her father actually talked to her right before she tragically drowned, and he warned her not to swim in the lake.
“She would always bounce stuff off me,” George Rivera told PEOPLE. “And she wanted to go swimming with Josey out in the middle of the lake.”
But when his daughter informed him that the boat didn’t have an anchor, George instantly realized that jumping into the lake for a swim was a bad idea.
“I could see that the wind was blowing and my stomach was just cringing,” George recalls. “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.'”
After about three minutes, their FaceTime call cut out. “It was just heartbreaking,” he said.
“I had this bad feeling that was just killing me,” George continued. Unfortunately, just a few hours later, his fears became a reality. Rivera drowned after exhausting herself while struggling to get Josey back into the boat after the two went swimming, according to a report released by the Ventura County Medical Examiner.
“It’s still pretty much a big blur of pain almost a year later,” George admitted. “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.”