Law enforcement authorities in Costa Rica confirmed Thursday that a forensic analysis of skeletal remains found last month in Costa Rica is Hill’s.
Hill’s father posted on Instagram on Tuesday an announcement that the 22-year-old had passed away and that Hill had disappeared while in Costa Rica.
The Organismo de Investigación Judicial Los Santos office in Costa Rica conducted a DNA analysis with samples from family members after the remains were found in the Napolis de Tarrazu sector, at the intersection between Naranjillo de Tarrazu and Santa Juana de Quepos on Monday, August 8, an OIJ spokesperson said.
Hill and his sister Tatiana arrived in Costa Rica in April. She wrote on her Instagram account on Tuesday, “…explored the bush and beaches together, went to Airbnb for hopping and eating great food fresh from the ocean and smoked great herbs lol…”.
Tatiana writes about a farm they visited in Costa Rica, south of San Jose. This was the last place she saw him, according to her post.
“He was only here with me for a few days before he disappeared. I didn’t have time to figure out what was going on with him. He stopped letting me in. It still remains a mystery to me,” she wrote.
Tatiana remained in Costa Rica until Hill’s body was identified.
“I came to Costa Rica with my best friend and now I’m leaving without you. You’re resting in real heaven now and I have to accept that,” she wrote on Instagram.
Hill, who is 6-foot-10 from Corona Centennial High, was a lovable, often-smiling fellow who’s starred at every level, from club to club. The basketball community is in mourning for his death.
“I don’t know where to start,” Compton Magic founder and CEO Etop Udo-Ema wrote via Twitter. “When we (first met) you were still wearing goggles. Becoming a cool, young UCLA player. We’ve traveled all over the world together. [Compton] Magic, University of California, USA. I hope you know how much I love you and it hurts that I can’t tell you again.”
David Grace, a former UCLA assistant coach who now coaches high school basketball in Southern California, also shared his condolences.
“I am so devastated to hear of Jalen Hill’s passing! Devastated! Had such a great smile and it was always great to be around! Loved our conversations! My deepest condolences! RIP Jalen!,” Grace tweeted.
Hill has been vocal about his struggle with anxiety and depression after an international shoplifting scandal. He and teammates Cody Riley and LiAngelo Ball were arrested after items were stolen from three stores during the team’s trip to China to play Georgia Tech in November 2017, leading to a season-long suspension, and he shared his feelings after leaving the team.
He said that his arrest in China when he was 17, along with the various changes that were made around him, affected him both in and out of court.
“With the whole China episode, then the following year my coach (Steve Alford) was fired, then we had a temporary coach and then a new coach (Mick Cronin), Hill told Southern California Newsgroup reporter James Williams in a phone interview. . “It was just a lot of new things that came into my life.”
Hill graduated from Corona Centennial High in 2017 after averaging 18.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game in his freshman year.That fall he arrived at Westwood in his freshman year, retiring in the 2017-18 season before playing in 77 games for UCLA over three seasons, including 40 starts, averaging 6.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and eight doubles. He cited anxiety and depression as reasons to leave the team in February 2021,
“The news of Galen Hill’s passing is heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin wrote via Twitter Tuesday night. “Galen was a kind-hearted young man with a wonderful smile who left us so close.”