Former "Glee" star Naya Rivera, who the Ventura County Medical Examiner confirmed Tuesday accidentally drowned during a visit to California's Lake Piru last week, is being remembered by the show's creators as a dynamic woman and a "real pro."

Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan have issued a statement praising the 33-year-old, explaining that it was Rivera's talent that made her character, Santana Lopez, a fan favorite.

They also sent their condolences to Rivera's family, "especially her mom Yolanda, who was a big part of the 'Glee' family, and her son Josey."

Rivera shared 4-year-old Josey with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey.

"The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all," the creators said.

Rivera's body was found on July 13, five days after she disappeared while on a boat outing with Josey. After Rivera failed to return the boat, personnel on the dock discovered the child, wearing a life jacket, asleep in the vessel, alone. Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said at a press conference Monday that the child told investigators that after he and his mother went for a swim, Rivera pushed him back into the boat but then disappeared under the surface of the water. The Ventura County Medical Examiner's office confirmed her identity Tuesday.

Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan recalled that when Rivera was first cast in the role that made her a household name, she wasn't meant to be a series regular. In the pilot, they added, she only had a few lines.

"It didn't take more than an episode or two for us to realize that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with," they wrote. "Naya could act, she could dance, and she could sing (could she ever sing!). She could nail a joke as well as she could crush you with an emotional scene ... She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around."

However, they said that perhaps her greatest contribution to the show was the tenderness she brought to Santana's groundbreaking same-sex relationship with actress Heather Morris' character, Brittany. Fans dubbed the pairing "Brittana."

"Naya understood what 'Brittana' meant to the many young women who were seeing themselves represented on television for the first time," they wrote. "Naya's obligation to them -- and to all her fans -- was obvious. She had a rare combination of humility and endless confidence in her talent."

"Naya was more than just an actor on our show," they added. "She was our friend."