Someone close [to] him just died.

Does 'to' changes the meaning?
Thanks in advance!
The sentence wouldn't be grammatically correct without the 'to'.

Someone close him just died. wrong
Someone close to him just died. ok

'close to' in this context means emotionally connected to - it could be a family member or a good friend.
I must have missed the preposition because the speaker spoke really fast. Thanks, Nona.