The family of TikTok star Cooper Noriega has spoken out after his death.
Noriega – who posted about fashion, comedy and skateboarding – was found dead in a car park in Burbank, California, on Thursday (9 June). He was 19.
Following news of his death, Noreiga’s family have thanked his fans for their support.
“Hi everyone. On behalf of our family we want to thank you all for the kind words of our little coop,” Noriega’s 24-year-old sister, Parker, posted to his Instagram page.
“His passing is an absolute tragedy to our family and loved ones. We pray that we all as a community can continue on his legacy.”
Parker told Noriega’s followers that he loved “each and every one” one of them, adding: “Please feel free to reach out to us as we love feeling all the support. Bless you all… with love, his sister.”
Other members of his family have also shared statements via Facebook.
Noriega’s dad Harold wrote: “Today has been an incredibly difficult time for my family and me. We lost our beautiful 19-year-old Cooper last evening. He was loved by so many and truly the love of Treva’s, Parker’s, and my life.”
“There are no words to express the grief and loss. It’s not supposed to be this way. Your child is not supposed to pass before his parents,” he continued, stating that his son had “touched” so many people over the years.
“He recently started a chat on [messaging platform] Discord which grew to thousands for those to have a safe place to talk about mental health. My boy was a believer and I know he is in the presence of God. Thank you everyone. I love you all.”
Noriega’s mother Treva added: “My heart is forever broken but you’re my special angel and we have each other’s hearts.
“I know my mom was holding her arms out bringing you to heaven. You are finally experiencing the most pure joy and happiness. I’ll see you one day my baby boy… your momma.”
On 5 June, Noriega shared a TikTok video announcing that he was starting a group for people to discuss their experiences with mental health on Discord, a messaging platform.
In the video, Noriega said: “I have just created a Discord server strictly for mental health because how much I love you guys, and how much I struggle with it myself."
He added: "I want you guys to not be alone and feel safe."
Noriega’s ex-girlfriend Sabrina Quesada also paid tribute to the late star, writing on Instagram: “The light of my life, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m so sorry my love. May we meet again.”
According to the US press, Noriega’s cause of death has been deferred, meaning that “after an autopsy, a cause of death has not been determined and the medical examiner is requesting more investigation”.
Hours before his death, Noriega had posted a video to his 2.1 million followers on TikTok video of himself lying in bed, with the caption: “Who else b thinking they gon die young af.”
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.