Richland pilot found dead near Southern California freeway - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland pilot found dead near Southern California freeway

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BURBANK, Calif. - The body of a Richland pilot has been found on a Southern California freeway off-ramp.

Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn says paramedics discovered the body of 55-year-old Lee Morris after getting a call of a man-down near the Scott Road off-ramp of Interstate 5 near Bob Hope Airport.

Morris flew into Burbank Monday morning. He was a pilot for Alaska Airlines, based out of Seattle for 26 years. Alaska Airlines spokesperon Paul McElory says Morris checked into his hotel Monday, but missed his 7:00am flight back to Seattle on Tuesday.

"When Captain Morris didn't show up to his flight, we became aware that something might be wrong. So contacted the hotel and then subsequently contacted law enforcement as well," says McElroy.

Tuesday evening, their fears were confirmed. The found half a mile from the hotel was identified as Morris. " In that area, there's really no pedestrian walkway. That's why it was suspicious in nature...We're trying to determine what he was doing at that location," says Sgt. Ryburn.

Police also say Morris was wearing regular clothes, and had his wallet on him. "There are no indications of exterior bullet wounds, knife wounds, anything like that," says Ryburn.

An autopsy has yet to be scheduled, but it will be conducted by the LA County Coroner's office. Morris is survived by his family and fiance Eileen Hively.