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L.A. executive dies in New Orleans after a hit-and-run, police say

A Los Angeles-based executive died after he was apparently hit by a vehicle in New Orleans' French Quarter and dragged more than 6 miles.

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.

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The World-Herald in Omaha reported that 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 that he was trying to hail 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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