Coroner Rules Pilot's Mysterious Death Not Suspicious

Questions remain in unexplained death of 55-year-old Alaska Airlines pilot

By Kevin Ryan Nava
|  Thursday, Oct 4, 2012  |  Updated 5:12 PM PDT
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Coroner: Pilot's Death Not Suspicious

Lee Morris poses for a photo with his grandsons in this undated photo provided by Alaska Airlines. Morris' body was found off the Golden State Freeway off-ramp in Burbank on Oct. 2, 2012.

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The Los Angeles County Coroner's office announced on Thursday that the mysterious death of 55-year-old Alaska Airlines pilot Lee Clifford Morris was "not considered a suspicious death."

The veteran pilot's body was discovered two days earlier on Tuesday evening along the west side of the Golden State (5) Freeway in Burbank. Unsure of how the body ended up at the off-ramp, investigators suggested that it may have been dumped and were treating the death as suspicious.

The initial autopsy results released Thursday revealed the opposite, although final results are pending until additional medical examinations are completed.

Burbank police also determined on Tuesday that he died at the scene and that there were no obvious signs of injury.

"He was clothed; his identification was with him," said Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn on Tuesday, adding that robbery had not appeared to be a motive at the time.

Morris, a Seattle-based pilot from Richland, Wash., had been scheduled to fly out of Burbank's Bob Hope Airport that morning, and was staying at the nearby Courtyard Marriott, of which he was a well-known patron, according to a hotel employee.

Morris had been with Alaska Airlines for 26 years, and is survived by his fiancée, Eileen Hively.

As of Tuesday, Burbank police were still seeking information regarding Morris's death, as well as any witnesses who might have seen Morris walking between the Marriott and the off-ramp.

Anyone with information was asked to call Burbank police at 818-238-3210.

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