A day after the tragic confirmation, Rivera’s loved ones commented on their great loss in their first public statement since the actress went missing.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers for Naya, Josey and our family over the past week,” the statement, released by Rivera’s manager to Deadline, read. “While we grieve the loss of our beautiful legend, we are blessed to honor her everlasting legacy and magnetic spirit. Naya was an amazing talent, but was an even greater person, mother, daughter and sister.”
Her family also acknowledged the people who helped locate her. “Thank you to the men and women of the Ventura, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Departments for your commitment and unwavering effort to find Naya,” their statement continued. “We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her friends, colleagues, and fans for your continuous support.”
“Heaven gained our sassy angel,” the family concluded. “We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”