• Kyodo


Local authorities are searching for those responsible for a hit-and-run that killed a Japanese woman near New York City on Feb. 20.

The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office believes Ayako Iizuka, 30, was fatally struck around 6:30 p.m. as she cycled home from work in Jersey City, New Jersey.

According to her relatives and the Japanese Consulate General in New York, Iizuka was a native of Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, and went to the United States to train as a jazz vocalist.

She had planned to spend a year taking lessons and was a week away from returning home. Her body was found by a sheriff’s officer who had stopped to remove her bicycle from the road.

The sheriff’s representative said officers have reviewed about 100 hours of surveillance video from nearby businesses and are now looking for the drivers of four vehicles that could have been involved.

Her husband, who lives here, spoke of his late wife’s dream. “She really liked jazz, so she went to the U.S., to listen to authentic jazz in New York, where she wanted to be. After taking lessons, she wanted to sing better and sing in Japan.

“I never knew anyone as beloved as her,” he said, adding that he hopes the perpetrator is caught as soon as possible.

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