Tahj Mowry says Naya Rivera was his 1st love in heartbreaking tribute

The 33-year-old actress has been missing since Wednesday.
/ Source: TODAY

Tahj Mowry penned an emotional tribute to his ex-girlfriend Naya Rivera while the search for the 33-year-old actress continues. The 34-year-old actor posted a stunning black-and-white photo of Rivera, sharing his heartbreaking message in the caption.

“My sweet Naya — to say that I am devastated would be an understatement,” he wrote. “This is a nightmare. Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found.”

“We grew up together,” he continued. “We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together. You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together... more than once. I will never not think of you. No woman has ever measured up what you gave me or how you made me feel. I’ve never liked to admit it but I have never stopped loving you. A part of me always wished for the day where God would bring us back together to be what we dreamt we could have been.”

Mowry shared his deepest sympathies with the Rivera family, reminding them that he loves them and that they are “forever family.”

“I still have faith,” he added. “I still have hope. Let’s please all pray that she is found and brought home safely.”

He ended his message on a somber note, writing, “Naya, I miss you deeply. I wish I got the chance to tell you that once more but I’m believing I will get that chance.”

“I know deep down you’ve always known how I felt,” he finished. “I look forward to the day where I can see your beautiful face once more and tell you everything I’ve wanted to say that I didn’t get the chance to say. I love you forever. I always have and I always will.”

The former “Glee” actress is believed to have gone missing while swimming on Wednesday, July 8 at Lake Piru in Southern California.

Officials say that she rented a boat around 1 p.m. and three hours later, authorities found her four-year-old son napping alone on the boat. Her son had on a life vest but it is believed Rivera did not since an adult life vest was found onboard the boat.

Rivera's son told officials that they went swimming in the lake but Rivera did not return to the boat. There were no signs of foul play.

The Ventura County Sherriff's Office announced on July 9 that the search for Rivera changed from a rescue to a recovery effort because she is presumed dead as a possible victim of an accidental drowning.

Rescue personnel on boats and helicopters have surveyed and searched the area since Wednesday afternoon but authorities have said that due to limited visibility, it may take days to locate her remains.

Many fans have been taking to social media to share vintage clips of the actress, who started working in Hollywood as a young child.

One of the clips making the rounds is a scene from an episode of the short lived sitcom "Smart Guy," that featured Mowry in the lead role.