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Body in car trunk ID'd as missing Auburn man; cause of death unknown

A body found in the trunk of a car Thursday in Auburn has been identified as a missing man, Hector A. Galeano, who was last seen by his family on Monday, law enforcement officials said.

AUBURN, Wash. - A body found in the trunk of a car Thursday in Auburn has been identified as a missing man, Hector A. Galeano, who was last seen by his family on Monday, law enforcement officials said.

A statement issued by Auburn police on Friday said investigators still haven't determined the man's cause of death and are continuing to investigate it as a possible homicide.

Galeano, 27, was last seen at a friend's house on Monday at about 4:30 a.m., said Cmdr. Mike Hirman of the Auburn police. He was reported missing by his family on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, police received a report of a suspicious car with its trunk open in the parking lot of the Lakeland Hills Community Center. Responding officers determined that the car belonged to Galeano, then found his body in the trunk, hidden by a carpet.

Investigators then spent hours Thursday searching for fingerprints and taking photos of the scene before the medical examiner arrived to take the body away.

A check of surveillance video showed that an unknown person had driven Galeano's car into the lot at around noon on Monday and left it there with the trunk open. The car had remained there until police were called to the scene on Thursday morning, Hirman said.

A small group gathered in the parking lot Thursday night to lay flowers near the spot where Galeano’s car was found.

"Hector was full of life and generous," his mother told KOMO News via Facebook from California. "He loved with force and made everyone laugh. He was the best brother to his siblings and a great son.”

Police now are urging the person or persons who drove the vehicle into the parking lot to come forward and let them know what happened. They also ask anyone with information to about Galeano's death to call the Auburn police tip line at 253-288-7403.

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