Body of Alaska Airlines pilot found along Calif. freeway

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

The Los Angeles County coroner's office said 55-year-old Lee Morris of Richland, Wash., was found Tuesday night in Burbank. A cause of death hasn't been determined.

KNBC-TV reported the body appeared to have been dumped near the Scott Road off-ramp of Interstate 5 near Bob Hope Airport.

Burbank police officers responding to a man-down call just before 6 p.m. found the body.

Officials said it is being investigated as a suspicious death.

An airline spokesperson said Morris was on a three-day trip flying from Seattle to Burbank. He was set to fly back to Seattle on Tuesday morning.

Alaska Airlines officials contacted police after he failed to show up for the flight.

In a written statement, Alaska Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations Gary Beck said the company is deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Morris, who worked for the airline for 26 years.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lee's fiance and other loved ones," Beck said. "He will be greatly missed by his fellow pilots and all employees at Alaska."