ALBANY -- A middle-school teacher who had been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a former student was found dead of an apparent suicide Monday morning, authorities said.

James Izumizaki, 28, an Albany resident, was found between 10 and 10:30 a.m. in his car on Via Alamitos in San Lorenzo, according to Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. A family member who lives nearby found Izumizaki, he said.

The death is being treated as a suicide, Nelson said. He would not disclose the manner of Izumizaki's death, but said that a gun was not involved.

Izumizaki, a sixth-grade teacher, was arrested at his home Sept. 26 on suspicion of performing a lewd act with a child under 14. A parent told a teacher about the alleged relationship with a female former student. The claim was forwarded to district officials, who placed Izumizaki on administrative leave and alerted police.

He posted bail and was released from jail after his arrest. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office did not immediately file charges pending further investigation, according to deputy district attorney Teresa Drenick.

Izumizaki was a teacher and coach at Albany Middle School for five years and had coached a volleyball and a basketball team, district officials said last week. After he was placed on leave, school officials said they would split students from his sixth-grade class among nine other classes at the school.


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The Albany School District released a statement to parents Monday afternoon, confirming Izumizaki's death "with great sadness" and saying that students would be informed of his death Tuesday morning, when mental health counselors would be at the school beginning at 7:30 a.m. Classes will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m., Principal Peter Parenti said in an email Monday evening, and counseling will be available throughout the day to students.

Superintendent Marla Stephenson did not return calls for comment Monday. She is expected to discuss the incident at a news conference Tuesday morning at Albany School District headquarters.

Parents and a faculty member declined to comment outside the school Monday evening.

Staff writer Natalie Alund contributed to this report. Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.