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‘My heart is broken’: Hooper family, friends saddened after learning body found is their loved one

Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 22:20:38-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Human remains were found in Muskegon near the intersection of Summit Avenue and Sixth Street.

The Muskegon County prosecutor has identified the remains as Brenda Hooper.

“The police has no reason to believe it is not my sister, and my heart is broken,” said Hooper’s sister Shanita via a text message to FOX 17 on Tuesday afternoon. “My family and I are going through every emotion known to man, and we all need to take this tragic loss in and heal.” 

Shanita said in the same text that the last time she spoke with her Hooper, she told her that she was “OK and needed time away from a crazy boyfriend.”

Shanita also stated that someone confessed to taking Brenda’s life.

“Brenda Hooper, she was brought up in Muskegon. We all went to school together. You know she was a good person. She didn’t have a lot of enemies,” said friend Nicole Soful. “I don’t know. I don’t know. This is just hitting hard for me right now.”

Soful brought over a teddy bear to the intersection where the remains were found and placed it on the snow. Within an hour, other people added three balloons: two red and pink heart-shaped ones and another one that read I love you.

Soful said as soon as she heard the remains were found she knew it was Hooper.

“We all knew it,” Soful said. “If the police did their job, it would’ve been solved a long time ago. But because they didn’t, five months later and now the truth is here. But, we all knew.”

According to a press release, the Muskegon police said Hooper was first reported missing back in October 2021. Since then, they’ve worked alongside investigators with Muskegon Heights Police and the Muskegon County STOP (Violence Against Women) group in investigating her case. Recently, they found the remains, and a 39-year-old man is in custody.

The prosecutor told FOX 17 that he’ll be in court sometime tomorrow.

“Thank you very much for your prayers,” Shanita said towards the end of the text. “I understand a lot of people knew my sister and loved her dearly. We are thankful for your support.” 

READ MORE: Friends: Person of interest confessed to killing Muskegon County woman

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