Four days before reporter Ken Ward was scheduled to start a job in Tampa, Fla,, his body was found by authorities in his apartment, according to the International Business Times.
Ward had just finished his contract with the Charlotte, N.C.-based ABC affiliate WSOC-TV, and was scheduled to drive to Tampa and start his job at another ABC affiliate, WFTS-TV, last week.
But what caused his abrupt death?
Reports from several media outlets say an autopsy will be conducted on Ward’s body to determine the cause of death, despite some published reports that say he died of natural causes.
Both stations issued statements mourning the loss of the 44-year-old journalist: one lamenting the person they knew, the other expressing devastation at never getting the chance.
Charlotte newspaper Qcitymetro interviewed one of Ward’s co-workers, Ken Lemon. From the article:
Lemon said he will always remember Ward’s bright smile and kind-hearted nature.
“Ken was a very nice co-worker,” he said. “He was very active in doing community events … He had a very pleasant demeanor. He was the kind of guy, that anytime you saw him at work, he had a smile and a handshake — from the first day he came here until the last time I talked to him. And to know that we’re not going to see his smile or get to shake his hand again is very heart-breaking.”
Funeral services for Ward are incomplete at this time.