‘He was so loved’: TikTok star Cooper Noriega dies aged 19

Noriega, who last week appeared as a guest on Barstool’s BFFs podcast with Dave Portnoy, Josh Richards and Bri Chickenfry, had recently spoken candidly online about his struggles with addiction and Mental Health.

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Who was Cooper Noriega?

Noriega was a 19-year-old TikTok star with over 1.8 million followers on the platform. He joined the app in 2019 and quickly built a following with his comedy, skateboarding, and lip-syncing videos.

Cooper Noriega was active on social media until his death (Photo: @cooper.noriega)

From there, Noriega created a YouTube channel, where he has over 56,000 subscribers, as well as over 89,000 Twitter followers and 430,000 Instagram followers.

On his Instagram account, Noriega described himself as a model.

What did he say about mental health?

Online, Noriega often spoke candidly about his mental health and addiction issues.

In the days before his death, Noriega announced on Instagram that he had created a group on Discord for people to talk about their experiences with their mental health.

He posted: “I’ve been battling addiction since I was nine, you might think it’s crazy, but it’s life that’s been inflicted on me.

“I would like to use the influence given to me to create a space built on raising awareness and normalizing discussions about mental illness. My goal is to eventually open a rehab where people aren’t traumatized at the end of their recovery and where the staff members are people they trust.

“One of the many things I’ve learned from battling addiction is that surrounding yourself with negative people will only depress you.

“For that reason, this discord is meant to bring us all together and create a safe space where people can let off steam and help others through their tough times.”

When did he die?

According to the Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner, Noriega was found dead in a parking lot in Burbank, Calif., on Thursday, June 9.

The coroner’s office said he was found in the 500 block of North First Street in Burbank.

What happened?

According TMZwho first broke the news, law enforcement officers found Noriega unconscious after bystanders called 911.

The outlet reported that a source said paramedics arrived at the scene but were unable to revive Noriega.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner said People that Noriega’s cause of death has been deferred, meaning “after an autopsy, the cause of death has not been determined and the medical examiner is requesting further investigation”.

Cooper Noriega was just 19 when he died (Photo: @cooper.noriega)

The spokesperson said: ‘Once the tests/studies have returned, the doctor will reassess the case and determine the cause of death.’

Just hours before his death, Cooper posted a video to his TikTok account of himself lying in bed with the caption: “Who else thinks they’ll die young [as f**k]”.

What did his family say?

On Sunday June 12, Noriega’s sister posted on her Instagram account on behalf of her family, following her death.

She wrote: “Hi everyone. On behalf of our family, we want to thank you all for the kind words of our little co-op. His passing is an absolute tragedy for our family and loved ones.

“We pray that we can all, as a community, continue his legacy. He loved each of you.

“People feel free to reach out to us as we like to feel all the support.

“Bless you all…with love, sister.”

Noriega’s father, Harold, also shared a statement on Facebook, in which he wrote: “Today was an incredibly difficult time for me and my family. We lost our beautiful 19 year old Cooper last night. He was loved by so many and truly the love of Treva, Parker and my life.

“There are no words to express grief and loss. It’s not supposed to be like this. Your child is not supposed to come before their parents.

“Cooper touched so many people. He recently started a Discord thread that has reached thousands so they 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.”

What did Nessa Barrett say?

Following news of Noriega’s death, TikTok star Nessa Barrett posted a lengthy statement on Instagram regarding his passing.

She wrote in full, “I’ve spent the last two days trying to figure out how this could be real. there is simply no way to process the loss of your best friend. I tried to figure out how life could still have meaning without you. part of me died with you.

“but what’s left of me will live for you.” I will spend the rest of my life finishing everything we ever dreamed of. I want to make you proud. you had the biggest heart I have ever met on this earth. a heart far too big for you to carry. For so long it was you and me just keeping ourselves alive. our link was unlike any other.

“No one understood me like you did. you saved me. you saved so many people. it broke my heart to know how much pain you carried when you were such a light to this world .i have always been so amazed by your strength and the way you carried yourself.even in your darkest times you were nothing but the kindest and most caring human being .

“You were a heaven-sent cooper. I am convinced that God sends angels to this earth to help heal people and you were one of them. you have always been my guardian angel. I live everyday for you. that’s all for you.

“I can’t wait to see you again my sweet boy. my best friend forever, rest in peace. 444.”

Where those struggling can get help

For people in the UK who have mental health issues, there are a wide variety of resources available that can help, such as:

  • Anxiety United Kingdomthat you can call from Monday to Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on 034444 775 774
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), accompanies men aged 15 to 35. Their phone lines are open every day from 5 p.m. to midnight, and you can reach them by phone at 0800 58 58 58
  • Samaritans has a 24-hour helpline on 116 123
  • Disturbswhose telephone lines are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on 0300 123 3393

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