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Remains found during search for missing A&M Galveston cadet from Lorena

Posted at 2:25 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 23:11:58-05

GALVESTON, TX — Investigators discovered human remains during a search Friday morning for a Texas A&M University at Galveston cadet reported missing this week who is originally from Lorena.

Police believe the remains found are of the missing cadet, though official identification is pending.

The missing student, identified as Brandon Perlowski, is a senior cadet with the Texas A&M Maritime Academy.

Perlowski is originally from Lorena, Texas.

On January 28, 2021, at approximately 7:40 p.m., the Texas A&M University at Galveston Police Department contacted the Galveston Police Department in reference to a missing student. The university reported the student was last seen on Wednesday, January 27 at approximately 5 p.m.

On Thursday, his vehicle was found abandoned on the north side of the campus in an area frequented by students, according to KTRK.

GPD contacted the Texas City Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Texas City Police Department deployed three drones and the Coast Guard deployed a helicopter to aid in the search.

Numerous TAMUG students also volunteered to assist in searching the area late into the night.

The search for the missing student resumed Friday morning with assistance from Alpha SAR, a search and recovery group from Houston.

The body was found on Pelican Island Friday morning.

"The Galveston Police Department will continue working to complete its official investigation of the cadet's death. We want to assure the public that our investigation has not found any suspicion of foul play in the cadet's death, and we do not believe there is any risk posed to the community," said Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale.

The Galveston Police Department has taken the lead in the investigation because the vehicle was found in the department's jurisdiction and the agency continues to work in partnership with TAMUG and area law enforcement.

"We are deeply troubled and saddened by this news. This heartache comes at an especially challenging time for our community both nationally and globally. We are hurting and mourning with you. We send our deepest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of both Aggies we have lost over the past 24 hours," the Galveston campus posted on Facebook.

Lorena ISD released the following statement regarding Perlowski.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lorena High School graduate Brandon Perlowski in this difficult time.”

On Thursday, while searching for Perlowski, officials discovered the body of an 18-year-old student inside Pacific Hall on campus.

That student was later identified as Wesley Mallernee, Class of 2023.

Galveston police said the two incidents are not connected. The Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the cause of death for Mallernee was a preexisting medical condition.

Mike Fossum, CEO of Texas A&M Galveston, released the following statementFriday.

Dear Aggies,

It has been a terrible 24 hours as we have begun to accept the deaths of two of our students, Wesley Mallernee ’23 and Brandon Perlowski ’21. We have weathered many storms, Sea Aggies, but none so crushing as the loss of those taken too early.

Tragedy impacts each of us differently, yet we are united as Aggies, forever exhibiting the core values that define us. Never has there been a greater opportunity to demonstrate our loyalty and selfless service than now. Remain loyal to one another in kindness and patience and serve one another in your remembrance. Take the time you need to grieve and invest heavily in the care of yourselves and one another.

We are not equipped as human beings to suffer tragedy alone. As we deal with the shock and mourn our losses, I encourage you to cling tightly to one another no matter how your grief manifests.

The counseling office in suite 104 of the Seibel Center has extended hours through the weekend and has counselors available to any faculty, staff or students on Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 2 p.m. Additional counseling resources are available to faculty and staff through the Work/Life Solutions Program. The Galveston Campus Care Team is also available to provide support, intervention, and additional resources. These assets are available to you at no cost to help you navigate trying and weary times. Please reach out if needed; we’re here for you.

Events and activities are being organized across campus. We will keep you informed as details emerge. Monitor the Galveston Campus mobile app, social media and university email for up-to-date information.

Let this shared Aggie heritage bring you together in reflection, remembrance and support.

With all my love and respect,

Mike Fossum