Former UCLA law basketball player, Jalen Hill was positively identified through forensic analysis of his skeletal remains, authorities announced Friday. He said the body was identified by Costa Rica authorities following a positive identification process.
Investigators in Costa Rica have determined that the remains of 22-year-old Jalen Hill were positively identified by DNA analysis that included samples from family members. His body was found in the Napoles de Taraz sector, about 40 miles south of San Jose, according to Inquisition Police spokesman Marco Monge.
The body of Jalen Hill, an American student, is reported to have been missing since early July, according to a news release Tuesday by Costa Rica’s National Police. According to Costa Rica, an independent news website based in the nation’s capital San Jose, Hill entered Costa Rica on April 29, was last seen in early July, and was reported missing on August 08.
The cause of death is still undetermined, due to the condition of the remains at the time they were found in mountainous coffee-growing areas, which were popular among tourists for their hiking trails.
Jalen Hill’s father, George Hill announced the death of his 22-year-old son on Tuesday in an Instagram post several months ago while returning home from a trip to Costa Rica. They posted: “We are utterly broken to announce that our beloved son, Jalen has left this world.”
Jalen Hill’s sister, Tatianna also shared some details about her trip to Costa Rica with her brother. She was one of the last people to see Jalen before his death.
News of Jalen’s death was shattered by coaches and teammates, with former UCLA forward Cody Riley posting a photo of him standing next to Jalen Hill in uniform with two heart emojis.
The 06-foot-10 forward retired from basketball in April 2021 last year, three months after his last game as the Bruins, due to anxiety and depression. Hill also suffered through an international scandal, when he and his associates were detained on charges of shoplifting in China.
Her sister, Tatianna Hill also posted on Instagram featuring Jalen’s picture in his uniform with a wide smile to take care of his mental health.
After being suspended for the season, he was able to return to the court for the Bruins. In his sophomore campaign, he played 15 games and started 11. He finished his career with an average of 6.5 points and 6.4 rebounds, making 54.6% of his shots under coach Mike Cronin. As a senior, he posted career highs in points (9.8), rebounds (3.1), steals (60), and blocks (31).
However, the year before the retirement started poorly for Hill. He struggled with injuries and various challenges that caused him to miss nearly one-third of the first 32 games of his UCLA career.
At the time, Hill was one of several top athletes who announced their retirement. Also, he was seen in a happy state, celebrating with his family with a constant smile.