THE BODY OF Nicola Furlong has arrived home from Japan as her family in Wexford prepare for her funeral in the village of Curracloe.
According to reports in the Irish Independent and Irish Examiner, the pink coffin was draped in an Irish flag and met by her parents Andrew and Angie in Dublin Airport yesterday.
The business and languages student was found dead in a hotel room in Tokyo last Thursday. An autopsy has indicated that she may have been strangled. Two American men, an unidentified 19-year-old and 23-year-old dancer James Blackston, are being held by police in connection with the death. They have also been charged with indecent assault on Nicola’s 21-year-old friend, according to Japanese reports.
The 21-year-old was killed hours after she attended a Nicki Minaj concert in the city. Yesterday, the US singer expressed her condolences on hearing about the death of a fan. She tweeted:
Minaj also addressed media reports that the men being held in custody were dancers on her tour. Tweeting directly to gossip site founder Perez Hilton, she said:
my dancers had nothing to do w/this tragedy. No one in my entourage was questioned or arrested. They all flew home from Japan.
She then added:
@PerezHilton that person on your sight is NOT my dancer. We do NOT know the men in custody. Too much misleading information.
Nicola, who was a DCU student, had been studying in Japan for a year at the Takasaki City University of Economics in Tokyo. She was due to arrive back to Ireland next month.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that the two American men approached the two students after they reportedly missed a train home after the concert last Wednesday night. The four had travelled to the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku.
A hotel employee is believed to have found Furlong on the floor in a hotel room after responding to a complaint about loud noise coming from one room in the early hours of Thursday morning.