Tahj Mowry Pens Touching Tribute To ‘First Love’ Naya Rivera & Says He Hopes For A Safe Return

a composite image of Tahj Mowery and Naya Rivera
Frazer Harrison/Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

Actor Tahj Mowry has shared his love for Naya Rivera on Instagram, days after she went missing.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, many of Rivera’s famous friends and co-stars have sent an outpouring of love and support for the former Glee star and her family. Mowry became the most recent celebrity to pay homage to Rivera on Friday, July 10.

In the touching post, which you can see here, the actor shared a black-and-white image of Rivera. She wore a strapless patterned dress and had her long hair styled in loose waves as she stared deeply into the camera. After he posted the photo, Mowry wrote a lengthy caption and revealed he never stopped loving his longtime friend.

“My sweet Naya – to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Every day gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found,” Mowry wrote. “We grew up together. We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each other’s hearts and then mended them back together…more than once.”

WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Naya Rivera and Josey Hollis attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" at Regency Village Theatre on February 2, 2019 in Westwood, California.
  Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images

Mowry also said the feelings he shared for Rivera when they together are still just as strong today. He said he will always have Rivera on his mind, and the love he has for her can’t be replaced.

“No woman has ever measured up what you gave me or how you made me feel,” Mowry said. “I’ve never liked to admit it but I have never stopped loving you.”

After opening up about his bond with Rivera, Mowry asked 1 million followers to continue to pray for her family. He shouted out to her mother, Yolanda, her father, George, and her siblings, Mychal and Nickayla. Mowry also said he is thinking of Rivera’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, and their son, Josey.

According to Hollywood Life, Mowry and Rivera became friends while they were acting in the 1990s. Rivera made several guest appearances on Mowry’s show, Smart Guy, and the two remained close ever since. In her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up, Rivera revealed that Mowry was her first kiss.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has been searching for Rivera’s body since Wednesday, July 8. She was last seen on Lake Piru with Josey. Josey was found sleeping in the boat Rivera rented for them and is now in Dorsey’s care.

On Thursday, July 9, police ruled Rivera’s search as a recovery mission and she has been presumed dead.