Friends last saw Hector Galeano (27) in the early hours of Monday, December 3, 2018. After no contact or communication on social media, Galeano’s family reported him missing on December 5th. Galeano’s body was found the following day in the trunk of his car, wrapped in carpet, abandoned in the parking lot of the Lakeland HOA Clubhouse.
The toxicology report indicated Galeano had drugs in his system. “I believe it was determined to be Cocaine and Fentanyl,” said Auburn Police Department Public Information Office Commander Steve Stocker. “The Pierce County ME has not officially ruled on cause of death. Right now it will most likely be accidental or undetermined. It does appear to be a drug overdose though.”
Clubhouse surveillance footage video showed an unknown person drive Galeano’s car into the parking lot around noon on December 3rd. The car, backed into in a secluded space of the lot, remained there until police were called the morning of December 6th, said Commander Mike Hirman of the Auburn Police Department.
“We do not have any leads on who drove his car there and wrapped him in the [rug],” shared Stocker. The case “is still under investigation. All possible avenues are being looked into. Nothing has been confirmed.”
Anyone with information about Hector Galeano’s case is asked to call the Auburn police tip line at 253-288-7403.
Galeano’s was laid to rest on December 14, 2018.
Statement from Hector Galeano’s family
In the weeks and months to come, there will be much said about what happened to my brother in the early morning of Monday, December 3rd. A lot of people are looking for answers, a lot of people want justice, a lot of people the loss of my brother still isn’t a reality. I promise you, other than having my brother back, the thing we want most are answers, justice, and a different reality. However, today all we can do is share with the world who our brother was.
As far back as we can remember, my brother had a presence. You knew the moment my brother walked into the room. He drew people to himself. His deep dimples and giant smile led before his mouth did. And that’s probably for the best because you often needed a nice smile to cushion the words that came out of his mouth. His laugh was obnoxious in the best way possible and he laughed from his soul. In the worst of times and the best of times, my brother laughed from his soul. He was so spontaneous. He was always craving an energy around him. He had so much life in his personality and hated to waste time lounging around. If he was going to lounge, he wanted it to be at a spa or on the top of a hike, or the bottom of a waterfall, or his favorite, first class flights. He didn’t waste time feuding with people, getting his way, or dwelling on the things he couldn’t change. He wanted the most life had to offer him.
He spent 13 years with my moms side of the family and the last 13 years of his life with his dads side. It’s just like him to be exactly fair so that neither of his family felt left out. But we all know who he loved the most, himself. He was the most confident, self love advocate, selfie obsessed human I have ever known. He had incredible taste, and style that only he could pull off. He was always put together, clean, and he always smelled expensive.
He was the first grandchild and first born on both sides of his family. He was the absolute most fun brother, cousin, uncle, and friend. Truly, the most fun. He loved his baby cousins and he relished with pride when his niece, nephew, and baby cousin were born. In his lifetime, he lived in 4 cities, traveled across America, and vacationed to places all over the world. He sought to be educated and wanted to be majorly successful in wherever he ended up doing. However, his biggest aspiration was to be a house husband. An average job, an average vacation, just getting by wasn’t the way my brother lived. He needed to do the most. The phrase EXTRA was created to explain how he lived his life. In fact, against my wishes, he bought a shirt that says it. He brought inexpressible happiness to every person he encountered and had the incredible gift to make people live in the moment.
Hector was the most sturdy person. Hundreds of people leaned on him throughout his life time. He saw so many friends and family to the other side of their hardships. From the time we were young, to the very last conversation I had with him my brother wanted those around them to know he was there for them. He would formulate sentences even if he didn’t know what to say. He was glue that held people together, he was humor that gave people a reason to laugh, he was joy that gave people hope in the dark, he was life that changed people, but more than anything Hector was THERE. Present, available, ready, always. If there is anything I could count on, it was that my brother would answer the phone when I called.
My brother was 27-years-old when he took his last breath. 27 and the only thing my brother wanted was for his family and friends to live. My sister and I were going through my phone and both of us stopped at one picture in particular. It gave me chills the moment I saw it and my sister and I looked at each other and we knew. We knew that picture spoke our new reality. We knew that picture was our brother telling us to smile, to ugly laugh. To have each other. To shop. To fall in love. To raise babies. To celebrate often. To say thank you. To do it all. To “just live.” And in the photo where he has his back to my siblings and I, his smile speaks without words like it always has. He didn’t have the chance to tell us, but when we saw this photo, as clear as ever, the photo spoke twelve words: “I’m gonna leave now. I love you. I’m so so happy. Goodbye.”
Thank you to every person that made my brothers short life, full. Thank you to every person that has, in the last few days, shared photos, memories, prayers, and resources to take care of us and honor my brother. Thank you to the two perfect strangers that helped me get from San Diego to Seattle still breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. Thank you to the O family for your ridiculous generosity and clarity in the darkest days I have ever seen. Thank you every law enforcement officer, first responder, and medical team for doing the incredibly difficult job you do. Specifically the men that looked me in the eyes and told me they would do everything they could for my brother. Thank you.
Most importantly, thank you Holy Spirit for never leaving him even in unknown places. Jesus, thank you for being the Advocate he sometimes didn’t know he needed. Thank you Father God, for giving him to us for 27 years, for embracing him and being the source of his joy for the rest of eternity.
Lastly, Hector, my brother. My best friend, thank you. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. But, thank you. Thank you for being the best older brother to all of us. Thank you for a childhood full of adventure and resilience. Thank you for the lessons you’ve taught us about life and optimism. Thank you for being the friend we all needed and for the memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for your generosity and your overwhelming love for everyone you knew. Thank you for being genuine, sincere, authentic, and letting us know you. Thank you for your quick wit, humor, and being the first to make a fool of yourself. Thank you for living in the moment so we could have as much of you as we could. Thank you for loving us with everything you were and everything you are. Hector, thank you. If I could see you one more time, if I could say one more thing to you, I would say thank you. I love you so much and I miss you more than I know how to carry.
This last week has been unlike any other seconds, minutes, hours, or days we’ve ever experienced and each second, minute, hour, and day after this will be unlike the last. Time stood still. Literally stopped. And then someone pushed play on life again. This is real. Life is still unraveling. Someone knows more about what happened to my brother. Someone drove my beautiful brother, left him alone, and parked him to be found three entire days later. If you know anything, I beg of you, please please come forward.