Police investigating death of Auburn man whose body they found in the trunk of his car

Victim identified; detectives work the scene; public’s help sought

Auburn Police are investigating the death of a man whose body they found in the trunk of a car at the Lakeland Hills Homeowners Association Clubhouse parking lot Thursday morning.

At 2 p.m. Friday, the Pierce County Medical Examiner identified the dead man as Hector Galeano Jr., 27, of Auburn, but as of that time it had not yet determined the cause of death.

Members of the center reported a suspicious vehicle with the trunk ajar in their parking lot. Police responded and discovered the victim dead, along with carpeting, in the trunk around 8:40 a.m.

Police said the vehicle, a silver Honda, was associated with a missing person investigation and later confirmed it belonged to the victim, whose father had reported him missing. Hector Galeano told police shortly before noon Wednesday that he had not seen his son for a couple of days.

Galeano Jr. had left a friend’s house around 4:30 a.m. Monday, police said. Obtained surveillance video shows the vehicle entering the community center parking lot around noon Monday. Police said they believe that an unknown person drove the vehicle, with Hector’s body in the truck, to the community center, parked it and left the area.

The vehicle sat in the parking lot the entire time until police were called Thursday morning and made the discovery.

Detectives continue to investigate.

“Anything that might have been placed here or anything that might have been disturbed here, for example, shoe or boot prints in the terrain, in the mud, we might take compressions of those,” Auburn Police Commander Mike Hirman told reporters late Thursday afternoon.

Police are asking the person who drove the vehicle into the parking lot to come forward. They are asking anyone who may have information about the incident to call the Auburn Police tip line at 253-288-7403.

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