Heartbreaking loss. Three years ago, TikTok’s star Cooper Noriega captured the attention of social media users. His sudden death on Thursday, June 9 brought more attention to his story.
According to Los Angeles County Medical Examiner -Coroner, the influencer, aged 19, was found dead in a car parking lot on Thursday. Us Weekly confirmed the following day that Noriega’s death was under investigation.
Noriega’s surprise passing came just days after he launched a safe space for his fans to openly discuss mental health.
“I’ve been struggling with addiction since I was 9 years old, you may think that’s crazy but that’s the life I’ve been dealt,” the YouTuber wrote via Instagram on Sunday, June 5. “I would like to use the influence I’ve been given to create a space built on spreading awareness and normalizing talking about mental illness.”
The rising star explained that his “goal” was to “eventually open a rehab where people aren’t traumatized at the end of their recovery and where the staff members are [trustworthy] people.” He further details his plans via a TikTok video the same day, describing why he started a Discord server for the public.
“If you’re really into getting your emotions out, or whatever, come join,” Noriega said in the video. “I created [the server]Because of how much you guys mean to me and how much it hurts me. I want you guys not to feel alone. [to] feel safe.”
In March 2021, the influencer spoke out about his own struggle with addiction and drug abuse. Hollywire was told that he began taking pills at the age of 11. “It was kind of like my choice to be sober, like, four months ago I had a mental breakdown, and I was like, ‘I can’t be doing this anymore,” Noriega said. “A lot of people on social media are fake. … I think that’s stupid.”
His death was followed by the death of another social media star Taylor Caniff vowed via Instagram to continue Noriega’s mission. “Rest in peace man I still have a stop for you on my couch,” Caniff, 26, replied to his late friend’s post. “Ima build this rehab in your honor.”
Blake Gray also mourned the loss of his pal, writing, “My heart hurts. [It] doesn’t feel real. Please tell me it’s not real. You were always full of positive energy, regardless of where you were. Rest easy Coop.”
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