Daphanie Herman says the reality of what happened to her brother didn't hit home until she stood in the forest where police discovered his body.
Braden Herman, 26, was found dead in Little Red River Park on the edge of Prince Albert, Sask., on May 11. Bernie Herman, a veteran Prince Albert RCMP officer, is charged with first-degree murder. The two men are not related.
Daphanie said she got directions from police Tuesday to the spot where her brother was found.
"It was unreal, I would say. At first it kind of didn't bother me, but once I started thinking about it, it just hit me. I just stood and started crying," she said Wednesday outside provincial court.
"I just prayed, I just talked to him in spirit, you know, in my language, Dene language, right? I just told him to guide us, to stay strong and look after us."
Bernie Herman appeared briefly by phone at provincial court in Prince Albert Wednesday. He'll return to court June 9. He has hired Saskatoon defence lawyer Brad Mitchell.
Braden's family came to court for the appearance. They were wearing black masks with "Justice for Braden" stitched on the side panel, and black T-shirts with his image framed by "Justice for Braden" and "Rest Easy."
They declined to comment on the investigation, or elaborate on what may have caused the two men to cross paths.
What is known is that on May 11, veteran RCMP officer Cpl. Bernie Herman phoned a co-worker and said he had "killed someone," according to police.
He agreed to go to the co-worker's house, located just north of Prince Albert. The RCMP, whose district the house was in, were then contacted and Bernie was taken into custody.
On May 12, 53-year-old Bernie Herman was charged with first-degree murder. He had served on the force for 32 years. He and Braden Herman knew each other for several years, according to police.
Bernie Herman provided information as to where police could find the victim, police said.
Police said that when they located 26-year-old Braden Herman on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red River Park, he was dead and appeared to have been shot.
Daphanie Herman said their family is still in shock and looking for answers.
"He was only 26, he had a full life ahead of him," she said.
The vigil is scheduled to begin after 6 p.m. CST on Saturday.