Nineteen-year-old Cooper Noriega, a TikTok star with over 3 million followers, was found dead in a parking lot last week after struggling with addiction and mental illness.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner pronounced the teen dead when he was found last Thursday, though his cause of death is still unknown. Noriega was well known on the app, and both his fans and fellow creators have grappled with his sudden passing.
Many of his fans have brought attention to one of his final videos posted to TikTok the day of his passing, a video captioned with the question “who else b thinking they gon die young af.” The video was later removed.
Noriega was known online for being open with his struggles with addiction and mental illness. He had a large presence on Discord, a messaging and social media app, where he created a community known as “Cooper’s advice” where he would spread positive messages about addiction and mental illness.
“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,” Noriega wrote on the channel. “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.”
He planned to open a rehabilitation center where “people aren’t traumatized at the end of their recovery, and where the staff members are trusted people.”
“One of the many things I’ve learnt while struggling with addiction was that surrounding yourself with negative people will only bring you down,” he said. “For that reason, this discord is meant to bring us all together and create a safe space where people can vent and help others through their tough times.”
Noriega’s sister, Parker, posted on Instagram after her brother’s passing. “My sweet sweet baby brother…my blood..my best friend… my whole heart…the only person I loved more than anyone on this earth. My heart is shattered..this doesn’t feel real…I will never be the same,” she said in the Instagram post. “You were loved by so many and will be missed immensely. Thank you God for choosing me to be his big sister for all of his 19 years. I know you’re watching down on me now…I feel it. I love you forever & ever…”
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