(Updated March 2019) KTLA News Anchor Chris Burrous Dies After Accidental Meth Overdose

By Paul Gaita 03/01/19

Burrous had been a morning news anchor at KTLA since 2011.

KTLA news anchor Chris Burrous
Photo via YouTube

3/1/2019: On February 22nd, the LA County Medical Examiner revealed the cause and manner of Chris Burrous' death. The KTLA news anchor died from methamphetamine toxicity. Hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were other contributing factors in his death which has been ruled accidental.

Radar Online has published excerpts from the autopsy report (TW: drug use) which provides a graphic description of sexual and drug activity that preceded Burrous' death by methamphetamine overdose.  The autopsy report also mentioned that despite concern that amyl nitrates (poppers) had been ingested, "toxicology testing did not confirm the presence of this substance.”

2/6/2019: We've received many comments and emails about this developing story, and we will update this article with new information as it becomes available.

On January 11th, which would have been Burrous' 44th birthday, friends and colleagues said good-bye in a moving ceremony at Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier, California. Loved ones paid tribute to Burrous, including his 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, who told the mourners: "In my heart, he's still there and alive and I hope he is for all of you, too."  A GoFundMe for the family has been set up and has raised about $80,000.

At this time we are not aware of the release of any toxicology or autopsy reports, but we are following this story closely and will update with any new information about the cause of death or other details. 

Broadcaster Chris Burrous, who anchored the morning news on Los Angeles' KTLA, was found unresponsive at a Days Inn motel in Glendale, California and died on December 27, 2018 at an area hospital.

Police in Glendale issued a statement which noted an individual who was with Burrous at the time of his death indicated that he had possibly suffered a drug overdose, and was administering aid when firefighters arrived at the motel. The 43-year-old who was a fixture at the CW affiliate since 2011, was a familiar face to Los Angeles television audiences, and colleagues expressed their condolences to his family via social media.

According to the Glendale Police report and a news briefing by Glendale Police Sgt. Dan Suttles, members of the city's fire department responded to an afternoon call from the aforementioned male individual, who had contacted police to report that Burrous had passed out and was not breathing due to a possible overdose while both were at the Days Inn.

Suttles, who said that the individual "appeared to be a friend" of the news anchor, did a "good job of trying to render aid" when firefighters appeared at the scene. Burrous was given CPR and then transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

The report noted that Glendale detectives are investigating the case, and while suicide appeared to be ruled out as a cause of death, they are currently awaiting a toxicology report from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. No additional details of the police investigation were available.

Burrous, whose family hailed from California's Central Valley, joined the KTLA news staff after serving as a reporter and anchor at various locations across the United States, including KGET in Bakersfield, where he met and married fellow journalist Mai Do-Burrous, with whom he had a nine-year-old daughter.

As an anchor at KTLA, Burrous helped to expand its morning news programming to seven days a week, while also serving as correspondent for other telecasts, including coverage of the recent California wildfires. Burrous also hosted a regular segment titled "Burrous Bites," which focused on restaurants throughout the state.

In a statement issued in the evening of December 27, KTLA President and General Manager Don Corsini and News Director Jason Ball wrote, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Burrous family. 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."

Their sentiments were echoed by numerous social media posts by fellow KTLA reporters like fellow weekend desk anchor Lynette Romero, who wrote, "My tears now are for your sweet little girl, your wife Mai and your dear parents. We will miss you so." 

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.