The actor revealed he used to date the "Glee" star, writing, "A part of me always wished for the day where God would bring us back together."
Tahj Mowry shared a heartbreaking message for Naya Rivera late Friday night.
Tributes have poured in for Rivera after she went missing from Lake Piru in Southern California on Wednesday. Authorities said the actress, 33, is presumed dead following a boat ride with her 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, who was found safe.
Taking to his Instagram account, the "Smart Guy" actor posted an emotional tribute to the "Glee" star, revealing the two had dated "more than once."
"My sweet Naya –- to say that I am devastated would be an understatement. This is a nightmare," he began. "Everyday gets harder. However, I am holding onto hope that you will be found."
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"We grew up together. We became adults together. We experienced so many firsts together," he continued. "You were my first experience with everything; love, intimacy, heartbreak. We broke each others hearts and then mended them back together…more than once."
He added: "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."
The "Full House" vet went on to send his prayers to the Rivera family, which he called his "forever family."
He ended the message by saying he hopes he will have the opportunity to let Rivera know that he has always loved her.
"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," he wrote. "I know deep down you've always known how I felt. 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."
On Thursday, police announced that the search and rescue operation had moved to a search and recovery mission.
"We're presuming that an accident happened and we're presuming she drowned in the lake," said Deputy Chris Dyer at a press conference. "We hope for the best, we prepare for the worst."