LOGANSPORT - As brothers and sisters go, Chyla Hopper’s relationship with her younger brother, Nathaniel, was pretty special.
“No one can ever compare to the bond the two of us had together,” she said in a phone interview on Friday afternoon.
It’s been almost a week now [Feb. 3] since Nathaniel — suffering from a fatal gunshot wound — was found in his Miami County residence. On Monday, Feb. 4, Brayden Berkshire, 18, Logansport, was arrested in connection with his death.
And for the Hopper family, it’s been a week’s worth of missed hugs, phone calls and silly conversations.
Chyla said that she doesn’t understand why Nathaniel’s life was cut short, but she also said she wanted to let the public know about the man he was and the brother she’ll always remember.
Growing up in Cass County, the siblings attended schools in both the Logansport and Lewis Cass school corporations.
Described as a lover of sports, animals, music and hanging out with his friends, Nathaniel could brighten up a room just by walking into it, his sister said.
Chyla also said Nathaniel was inquisitive and smart, especially when it came to his fondness of animals.
“He was a dog lover for sure,” she said, “but he also just loved any animal on Earth. And he knew about them. He could look at an animal and tell you what it was. Animal Planet, that was his favorite, and that’s all my mom and him would watch when we were in elementary school. He just knew all these amazing and interesting facts about animals that no one else seemed to know.”
And that’s why what happened this week has led to some of the most painful steps Chyla has ever had to walk, she said. But she also said that she knows that not even death can break the bond the two share.
“I know the pain we’re feeling right now is just the beginning, and it hasn’t fully hit me yet,” she said, referring to Nathaniel’s death. "I don’t think I’ll ever be fully at peace with what happened to my brother. But everyone that has met Nate or spoken to him for a split second knows he made a huge impact on their lives. That was just the type of person he was. He quickly stole your attention and everyone else’s attention in the room too.”
Reach Kim Dunlap at email@example.com or 574-732-5150.