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As heartfelt tributes from across the globe continue to flood in for Cory Monteith, his cousin Richard Monteith has spoken about the Glee star who was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday morning.
In an emotional interview with Canadian news channel Global News, Cory's tearful cousin Richard revealed how he found out the devastating news of his death and also paid tribute to the talented actor.
"It's like having my hero die," said Richard, who described Cory as "beautifully genuine...what you'd call the whole package."
In the interview, which took place on Sunday, Richard described how he found out the news about Cory's death. "I got a call from his father first, it was a questioning call, he was asking me what was going on because it was probably around ten last night, maybe a little before.
"They said there was lots of speculation about Cory but nothing was confirmed until about ten thirty last night.
"I heard from his father and then I tried to figure out more about it then the statement came out at ten thirty that it was Cory. I had to call his dad back and then tell him.
"The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in New Brunswick came to his house at quarter to three in the morning and told him then.
"It was heavy because he's my hero and he's my inspiration to be better. Even though he's not here he's still here though and even though he's gone he's not gone because his light still shines in me and in his family and in all his fans."
Richard honoured the 31-year-old star, whom he described as his hero. "He'd do anything for anyone; he'd give you the shirt off his back," he said.
"He told me no matter how long your tunnel is - they call acting, singing or professional sports a pipe dream - just know that how matter how long that tunnel is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. He was that light for me."
It has since emerged that Cory's autopsy will be fast-tracked due to the "intense public interest" surrounding the star's death.
A source from the Vancouver Police Dept told E! Online that the results of the autopsy and toxicology tests are expected to be revealed in "two or three days' time".
Calgary-born Cory, who played heartthrob Finn Hudson in the hit musical show Glee, was found on Saturday in his room on the 21st floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, after missing his checkout time.
Cory, who was dating co-star Lea Michele, had a long history of substance abuse. He voluntarily entered rehab in April.