Family: Hit-and-run victim in French Quarter from Nebraska

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A tourist who died after he was apparently hit by a vehicle in the French Quarter and dragged more than 6 miles was a Harvard University graduate from Nebraska who worked for a California-based company, his family said.

The New Orleans coroner's office identified the victim Tuesday as 28-year-old Joshua Woodruff. It said his early morning death on New Year's Day was caused by blunt force trauma.

The World-Herald in Omaha, Nebraska ( reports Woodruff was the director of customer strategy for Los Angeles-based Soylent.

Police said Woodruff was hit in the French Quarter at about 3:15 a.m. Friday and that his disfigured body was found at about 3:45 a.m. on a roadway leading from a bridge that crosses the Mississippi River.

Police are seeking the driver of the black sedan that hit Woodruff. Police told The New Orleans Advocate ( ) he was trying to hail down an Uber vehicle when he was struck by the sedan.

Woodruff was in New Orleans with a friend to celebrate the New Year when he was hit, his sister Heather Grizzle told the World-Herald.

Grizzle said she hopes the hit-and-run driver is found.

"Not because justice will bring Josh back," she told the newspaper. "Because we hope this person won't make another family suffer the way we are."

His mother, Caren Woodruff, said he texted these words before his death: "I just want you to know how thankful I am for you."

His sister said: "He was the best at getting people to talk about what was really on their heart ... He was just universally loved and likable."

The newspaper said a funeral is to be held Saturday in Omaha.

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