Tahj Mowry Says Naya Rivera Was His 'First' Love in Emotional Tribute: 'I Miss You Deeply'
"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 wrote in an emotional message, as the search for Rivera continues
“My sweet Naya - to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare. Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found,” Mowry, 34, wrote on Instagram alongside a black-and-white photo of Rivera, 33.
“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 others hearts and then mended them back together...more than once,” continued Mowry, as he seemingly confirmed the pair had dated in the past. “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, who like Rivera began acting at a young age, went on to extend his thoughts and prayers to the actress’ entire family.
“I pray deeply for the Rivera family and that God blankets them with strength, peace, and love right now. Mychal and Nickayla - you will always be like younger siblings to me and I love you dearly. I watched you two grow up into beautiful adults. George and Yolanda - whatever you need I am here for you. We are forever family and I love you,” he wrote.
Mowry also went on to encourage all of his followers to “lift up” Rivera’s ex-husband Ryan Dorsey as well as their 4-year-old son, Josey, who police have said "is in good health” in spite of his mother’s disappearance.
“I ask everyone reading this to please lift up, along with the entire Rivera family, Ryan and Josey in prayer and to respect what they are going through during this time. I pray that God showers the entire family with strength and peace that only He can give,” he wrote. ”I still have faith. I still have hope. Let’s please all pray that she is found and brought home safely.”
As his loving tribute came to a close, Mowry shared that he wished he “got the chance to tell” Rivera how much she meant to him.
“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 continued. “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. “
As authorities continue their search for the missing Glee star, so far their underwater expeditions have not detected Rivera, who was presumed dead on Thursday, one day after her son was found alone on a pontoon boat at California's Lake Piru, where they had been swimming.
"Unfortunately, they did not locate Naya Rivera. They are still searching," Ventura County Sheriff's Office Captain Eric Buschow told reporters at a Friday press conference, calling the situation a "difficult" one because "we don’t know if she’s going to be found five minutes from now or five days from now."
Lake Piru, which is known for its dangerous conditions, is nearly two miles long and 130-feet deep at some points. The size of the search area, as well as the poor visibility conditions at the lake have complicated the search.
RELATED VIDEO: Divers Search by Touch Underwater for Naya Rivera Due to Low Visibility: 'Kind of a Braille Search'
Since being found in the boat, Josey has been reunited with his dad.
The toddler told investigators that his mom never got back into the boat after they had been in the water, according to a press release from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office released Thursday.
Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Donoghue told PEOPLE on Friday that while the events that led to Rivera's disappearance are "still a mystery," but he added that there is no reason to suspect foul play or that Rivera was attempting suicide.
"I think at some point in time we will find her," Donoghue said. "I will say that we are hopeful to find her. We want to bring peace and closure to the Rivera family. This is a tragic event."
"If we don't find any clues today, we'll still be out here tomorrow," he added.