KTLA5 weekend anchor Chris Burrous, who was found unconscious in a Glendale motel room two days after Christmas, died from an accidental methamphetamine overdose, the county coroner reported.
“It was later determined Burrous died from methamphetamine toxicity,” Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “Other contributing factors include hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”
Police were contacted at 1:15 p.m. Dec. 27 by a caller who said a man he was with at the Days Inn, 450 Pioneer Drive, had passed out and was possibly not breathing, Glendale Police Sgt. Dan Suttles previously said.
A dispatcher gave the man instructions on how to perform CPR and he was attempting to administer emergency aid when firefighters arrived, Suttles said.
Glendale firefighters found Burrous inside the motel room, not breathing, Suttles said. They administered CPR and the 43-year-old newscaster was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:06 p.m.
An autopsy was performed Dec. 28, but the cause of death was deferred pending further investigation.
According to the coroner’s report, Burrous had inserted the drug into his anus and put on a bondage mask laced with amyl nitrate “poppers” during a sexual encounter with a man he met on the Grindr dating website.
Burrous, who was married with a 9-year-old daughter, 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 went on to work at stations in San Jose, Rapid City, South Dakota, Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento and KTLA sister station WPIX in New York City before transferring to Los Angeles.
Burrous was credited with helping extend the “KTLA Morning News” to seven days a week, anchoring weekends and covering breaking news on weekday mornings. His weekend “Burrous’ Bites” segments, which highlighted hole-in-the- wall eateries in Southern California, were a viewer favorite.