Former WTVJ-NBC 6 anchorman Joel Connable was found dead in Seattle — just days after tying the knot and leaving Miami to relaunch his TV news career!
Connable, 39, married his longtime girlfriend two weeks ago, and he was making his comeback to the big time at Seattle’s ABC affiliate KOMO after three years out of the news business.
Connable was fired from NBC 6 in 2009 for allegedly taking freebies – a no-no at the Broward County-based station. His wrongful termination lawsuit against the organization is still pending.
Foul play is not suspected in Connable’s death: He is believed to have suffered a diabetic seizure while at home sometime Tuesday!
Connable was hitched to Miami paralegal Angela Shlyakhov, but the lovebirds were waiting until after November sweeps to have a ceremony for friends and family, and for Shlyakhov to relocate to be with Connable, according to the TV trade website NewsBlue.
Connable reported for work on Friday and anchored several news shows over the weekend, said KOMO News Director Holly Gauntt.
“He called in sick Monday, saying he was very, very sorry but he had caught a bad bug,” Gauntt said. “When he didn t show up for work late Tuesday, we called police and asked them to do a welfare check. Joel was found on the floor in his new apartment.”
His illness was so acute that Connable needed a blood sugar imbalance-sniffing therapy dog, Lola, who travelled with him everywhere. The pooch was with Connable when he died and may have warned him — but Connable’s insulin pump is believed to have malfunctioned.
“The (pump’s) lead line was disconnected,” Connable’s mother Roma told NewsBlues. “A bright light has gone out of our lives. Joel was a wonderful, cheerful, courageous guy, absolutely unique on this earth. He spread joy wherever he went.”
After his firing, Connable started his own web company, Travel TV News, which showcased vacation hotspots in paid segments during local news commercial breaks. KOMO convinced him to return to the news business a few weeks ago.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Gauntt. “He was ecstatic to be here and to be back in the business. He was already fitting in well. He would have succeeded here, of that I am sure. The staff is in shock.”