AUBURN, Wash. - Auburn police found the vehicle of a missing man on Thursday parked in a community center parking lot, and hours later, confirmed that a body was found in the vehicle’s trunk.
On Friday at 1 p.m., Auburn Police identified the body as that of 27-year-old Hector Antonio Galeano.
“We lifted the trunk, and there was carpeting in the back,” Auburn Police Department Cmdr. Mike Hirman said. “As we picked up the carpeting, we saw a body in the car, obviously deceased.”
Galeano's father had reported him missing on Wednesday around noon. His family members told KIRO 7 they had not heard from him since overnight Sunday into Monday.
They said he was going to meet someone early Monday morning but has not responded to calls or emails since then.
Family members told KIRO 7 Galeano lives in Auburn with his father and went to high school in the area. His sister said that Galeano was not the type of person to disappear for any length of time and posted daily on social media, as well as keeping in touch with his other sister, who lives in San Diego.
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Hirman said police received a call from employees at the Lakeland Hills HOA around 8:40 a.m. on Thursday about a suspicious car parked in their parking lot.
Police spent hours scouring the area around the car as they waited for a warrant to search the vehicle.
“[We’re looking for] anything that might have been placed here,” Hirman said. “Anything that might have been disturbed here. For example, shoe or bootprints in the terrain, in the mud. We might take impressions of those.”
Keith Valnes, who was walking his dogs on Thursday and walks them regularly during the afternoon, said it was odd to see a car parked in that corner of the lot.
“I was here by 3:15 p.m [Wenesday],” he said. “I didn’t see any cars in here.”
A jogger passing by told KIRO 7 he saw the vehicle parked in the corner of the lot around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday. There are surveillance cameras at the Lakeland Hills HOA clubhouse but police are not revealing at this point what they might show.
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