Father of two Todd Tongen joined WPLG in December 1989

By Natalie Stone
June 03, 2019 08:41 PM
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Local 10

Longtime Miami reporter and anchor Todd Tongen’s family, friends and colleagues are grieving over his unexpected death.

Tongen, who worked at ABC affiliate WPLG for 30 years, was recently found dead, Local 10 News reported Monday. The Emmy Award-winning journalist was 56.

According to the outlet, his wife was out of town and unable to reach her husband. She asked a friend to check on Tongen; police were eventually called and the reporter was found dead on Monday morning.

A cause of death is not yet known, the outlet reports.

While Tongen joined Local 10 in December 1989, he began his broadcasting career in his native Minnesota in 1983, Local 10 reports. He first started out at the station by forecasting the weather, but more recently shared the weekend morning anchor desk.

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Tongen also welcomed numerous celebrities for a ride in the backseat of his 1967 Checker taxi cab, including Dana Carvey, Joan Rivers, David Cassidy, Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Eva Mendez, according to the outlet.

He is survived by his wife, Karen, and sons Tyler and Ryker.

“I’ve already skydived, bungee jumped, ridden on the back of a whale, flown with the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds, so there’s not a lot left on my bucket list,” Tongen told Local 10 in 2015.

“Maybe, ah, crochet a sweater or, you know, I would love to, you know — travel would be big on my bucket list,” he said. “I’d like to go to Bora Bora and I’d like to — I’d love to — be in another feature film. I’d like to be in a blockbuster film, even in the smallest role. I’d just like, you know, a big hit, so I could say, you know, take my boys to it, ‘There’s dad.'”

In September, he shared a family photo to Instagram, noting how much his sons had grown up: “What happened? The boys are men!”