Cooper Noriega, a popular TikTok content creator, has died aged 19.
He was found dead in a shopping mall car park in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.
The cause of death has not been revealed.
Who was Cooper Noriega?
Noriega grew up in Laguna Beach, California, and later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in fashion and entertainment.
He joined TikTok in 2019, amassing his fan base by posting comedic videos such as skits, lip-syncing and more. He also later launched a YouTube channel and modelled.
Noriega has 1.7 million followers on TikTok and 430,000 fans on Instagram.
Just hours before his death, he posted a video of him lying in bed with the caption: “Who else b thinking they gon die young [expletive].”
Noriega had been a staunch advocate for mental health, having recently launched a safe space on Discord for his fans to openly discuss it.
“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,” he wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “I would like to use the influence I’ve been given to create a space built on spreading awareness and normalising talking about mental illness.”
He said his goal was to "open a rehab where people aren’t traumatised at the end of their recovery and where the staff members are trusted people".
“If you’re really into getting your emotions out, or whatever, come join,” he says in a TikTok clip. “I created [the server] because of how much I love you guys and how much I struggle with it myself. I want you guys to not be alone and [to] feel safe.”
Since news of his death, fellow social media star Taylor Caniff said on Instagram he would 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 honour.”
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