CLEVELAND (WJW)– The parents of 22-year-old Cooper Tulloch say he loved his family, his friends and his fraternity. His loved ones are hoping police can find the driver who struck him on a Cleveland highway and kept going.
Cleveland police said around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, multiple drivers reported seeing a male in the right eastbound lane of Interstate 90, south of the Chester Avenue exit ramp. Investigators said he had been struck by an unidentified vehicle, which left the scene.
“We loved him, we still love him. We’ll always love him. But we’ve known for over 24 hours now and it’s not gonna change, nothing’s gonna change,” Joy Tulloch told FOX 8 from the family’s home in Boca Raton, Florida.
Tulloch graduated from Case Western Reserve University this past May, earning a degree in finance. He also played on the university’s football team just like his brother, Hunter, who was two years older. Cooper was a defensive back, wearing No. 31.
“He took on those challenges and performed to the best of his ability. And again, very reliable, well-liked, unassuming young man that’s gonna be missed by everybody that he touched,” said Greg Debeljak, CWRU head football coach.
“He really put in hard work, no matter what he did. He didn’t want to play second fiddle to anybody,” said Scott Tulloch, Cooper’s father.
Cooper Tulloch’s parents said he went home to Florida after graduation, but returned to Cleveland for the weekend to visit friends who were still living in an off campus apartment they shared. Investigators are trying to piece together what happened in the hours before his body was found. His parents said they believe he had visited the downtown casino earlier in the evening.
“He just had a real good relationship with his buddies and just was looking forward to a weekend with his buddies. And he was going to be home tonight from Cleveland to Boca Raton and it just didn’t work out that way,” said his mother.
Cooper’s parents said he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and loved movies, especially “Star Wars” and animated movies. He enjoyed watching sports in person and on television, and began to have a real interest in golf.
“He now really started to become what I would call a student of the game. He would study the various techniques and he would go to the driving range and practice,” said his father.
“Cooper liked to do well at whatever he did. He didn’t want to do second best and he would do his best to give it his all,” said his mother.
His parents said Cooper was still figuring out the next move in his life, before it was tragically cut short.
“His mind was everywhere. He wasn’t one of those kids who knew exactly wat he wanted to do after graduation. I think that’s fine… I think too many kids today, they get so much pressure and we definitely tried not to pressure him,” said his mother.
Scott and Joy Tulloch said sharing their son’s legacy is therapeutic for them, as they deal with their loss and pain.
“He was a great kid,” said his father.
Monday evening, Cleveland police told FOX 8 News they have no new leads in the case.