The manager of a downtown Japanese hotel who was murdered January 5 has been identified as Hideko Oyama. Oyama, 74, was found bleeding on the second-floor office of the small, three-story Chetwood Hotel at 411 E. Fourth St. about 11:30 am by a hotel guest. She was transported to County-USC Medical Center where she died of her injuries.

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“It is so rare and all the more tragic to find a woman in her seventies murdered,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, who heads up the detective division in downtown. “We have very little information to go on, but we hope someone saw or heard something.”

Detectives did not release the cause of death, but did acknowledge that no gun was used. The woman's name was not released pending notification of her family.

“The motive in this crime is not immediately apparent,” Vernon said. “But we are fortunate in downtown that people are very forthcoming with tips and information, especially when such an innocent victim is involved.”

Oyama lived at the hotel for the last four years.

The January 5 murder was the first of the year in downtown. There were five homicides downtown in 2009, which was the lowest single year in over twenty years. Anyone with information should contact LAPD's Central Division detectives at (213) 972-1254.

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