Just hours after posting a cryptic video to TikTok about dying young, 19-year-old influencer Cooper Noriega was found dead at a mall parking lot in Los Angeles on Thursday, a medical examiner report says.
The cause of Noriega’s death was not released, and a request for details from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was not immediately answered.
TMZ reported that Noriega, who had nearly 2 million followers on TikTok, was not in a vehicle when his unconscious body was spotted by a passerby on Thursday night. The report stated that first responders attempted to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful. Foul play is not suspected.
In Noriega’s next-to-last video, posted on Thursday night, he asked his followers: “Who else b thinking they gone die young af.”
Noriega posted daily videos online showcasing his life in Los Angeles along with fashion and skateboarding clips. He also had a significant following on Instagram and made a podcast appearance with Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy just last week. On Friday, the show posted to Twitter: "Devastating news. RIP Cooper Noriega. Life is fragile. Enjoy every minute."
The teenager was set to turn 20 on June 28, records show.
Comments on Noriega’s TikTok blew up Friday morning as news of his death spread, with mourning fans sharing their love for the young star. The same happened for his ex-girlfriend, Sabrina Quesada, whose TikTok also became filled with messages of support.
Quesada announced to her 4 million followers in April that she and Noriega were mutually splitting after dating since October 2020.
Noriega frequently used his platform to speak about addiction and mental health, both of which he struggled with from a young age, he said.
A Discord group founded by Noriega on June 5 had grown to over 15,000 members on Friday afternoon. The influencer said he created the space for his followers to share their experiences about mental health, with sections titled “ask for help” and “life advice.”
“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 wrote Monday on Instagram.
Noriega said his dream was to one day open a rehab center where “people aren’t traumatized as the end of their recovery.”
Fellow influencer and friend Taylor Caniff commented on a post that he planned to keep Noriega’s dream of this alive, writing: “Rest in peace man,I still have a stop for you on my couch. Ima build this rehab in your honor."
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here