GLENDALE (CBSLA) – Longtime KTLA 5 weekend anchor Chris Burrous was found unconscious in a motel room in Glendale Thursday afternoon and later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Glendale police received a call about 1:15 p.m. from a man who said a man he was with at the Days Inn, located at 450 Pioneer Drive, had passed out and was possibly not breathing, according to Sgt. Dan Suttles.
Glendale firefighters responded to the scene and found Burrous, 43, inside a room and not breathing, Suttles said. CPR was administered and he was taken to a hospital where he died. Police said his death is being investigated as a possible overdose.
The original call to police stated Burrous may have overdosed, but detectives will await the Los Angeles County coroner’s office report for a determination of the cause of death, Suttles said.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Burrous family,” KTLA President and General Manager Don Corsini and news director Jason Ball said in a joint statement Thursday night.
“Chris loved sharing the stories of Southern California and connecting with our viewers. He will be remembered as a great journalist and a wonderful friend to many. He brought a kindness to his work and will be deeply missed by the entire KTLA family.”
Police also made a statement following the announcement, using sensitivity while explaining the circumstances of the case.
“That was something that we recognized right away, because, you know, everybody knows Chris,” Glendale police Sgt. Dan Suttles said. “So we knew that this was gonna be something that was gonna be a very sensitive matter. We’re waiting for a toxicology report to come back from the coroner’s office. Until we get that we won’t be able to tell what the cause of death was. It is being investigated as a possible overdose.”
Authorities did not release details about what paraphernalia was found inside the motel room, nor did they elaborate on the relationship of the man who was with Burrous when he was found.
Weekday morning news anchor Megan Henderson said on Twitter, “We are all so shocked and saddened by this tragic news. Please keep his beloved daughter, wife and parents in your prayers.”
Henderson’s co-anchor, Chris Schauble, tweeted, “Right now he’s telling the angels where to find the best food. Rest easy brother.”
KTLA entertainment anchor Sam Rubin tweeted his condolences, calling Burrous death, “heartbreaking and horrible.”
Burrous joined KTLA in 2011.
Burrous graduated from Chapman University in Orange with a degree in broadcast journalism and began a two-decade career in news starting at KCKC-AM and KCXX-FM in San Bernardino while he was still in school.
He moved on to KNTV-TV and KLIV-AM in San Jose, then KEVN-TV in Rapid City, South Dakota. He joined KGET in Bakersfield in 1999 as a morning news anchor, the statement said.
Burrous’ career led him to KGPE in Fresno, KMAX in Sacramento and KTLA sister station WPIX in New York City. He told the New York Daily News he asked for a transfer to Los Angeles so his daughter could grow up near her grandparents, the station said.
Burrous was credited with helping to extend the “KTLA Morning News” to seven days a week, anchoring weekends and covering breaking news on weekday mornings, the station said.
His weekend “Burrous’ Bites” segments, which featured the best hole- in-the-wall eateries in Southern California, were a viewer favorite.
He is survived by his wife, Mai Do-Burrous, and 9-year-old daughter, Isabella.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)