Police say James Izumizaki, the Albany teacher who was arrested last Thursday on molestation charges, was found dead. Alameda County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death as a possible suicide. Jean Elle reports.
Update: There is a vigil this morning being held by teachers and colleagues of the dead teacher.
An Albany teacher who was arrested last week on suspicion of committing lewd acts on a minor was found dead this morning in San Lorenzo in an apparent suicide, a sheriff's spokesman said.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office received a call at 10:30 a.m. from someone reporting a body in a car on Via Alamitos, sheriff's spokesman J.D. Nelson said.
Deputies responded and found the body of James Izumizaki, 28, a teacher at Albany Middle School.
Izumizaki was arrested Wednesday after police began investigating a report that he had an inappropriate relationship with a former student at the school.
Nelson said that, based on the nature of the death and a note that was left, it appears Izumizaki took his own life.
Izumizaki was booked into the Santa Rita Jail after his arrest but had been released on bail. He had been a teacher at Albany Middle School for several years.
Albany Unified School District Superintendent Marla Stephenson said Izumizaki was heavily involved in student activities and had coached basketball and volleyball at the school.
Stephenson said she learned of the alleged misconduct last Monday, and that the school district contacted Child Protective Services and Albany police.
Izumizaki was placed on leave that afternoon.
Stephenson plans to hold a news conference about the case on Tuesday.