LAFAYETTE — As mourners sat in Immaculate Conception Church on Wednesday for the funeral of Nathaniel Tallman, family friend Aaron Allen asked those in the crowd to close their eyes and remember him.
"It only takes a moment to bring a smile back to my face when I think about that young man," said Allen, who delivered the eulogy.
Friends and family of Tallman gathered Wednesday morning to remember the 25-year-old Lafayette man, who was found shot to death in Wyoming earlier this month after being missing since late January.
"Sometimes bad things happen to good people," Pastor Bob Amundsen told the mourners. "When it does, somehow we feel like we need to make sense of it all as we struggle with the pain and the confusion.
"But we can't."
Hundreds packed the church at 715 Cabrini Drive for the two-hour service before making their way to Coal Creek Cemetery for Tallman's inurnment.
During the service, friends remembered Tallman for his love of baseball and Red Rocks, and for his caring and kind personality.
Tallman graduated from Monarch High School in 2006 and attended Otero and Aims community colleges. He worked with his father in the family's greeting card and gift distribution business.
"All of you are here because, in some way, Nate's life touched yours," Amundsen said. "Nate had a good life. It wasn't very long, but he encountered a lot of people and celebrated a lot of good things."
Tallman's family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons.
The body of Tallman, the victim of an apparent drug-related murder, was discovered March 13 along the side of a highway north of Lusk, Wyo. He had been missing for nearly two months.
One suspect, Russell Britton, 58, has been charged with first-degree murder and two others — Moises Mendez, 26, and Daniel Ortiz, 38 — could be charged as early as Friday in connection with Tallman's death.