Another Wrestler's 'Untimely' Death

Former champ John Kronus, right, was found dead in his girlfriend's apartment.

ByABC News
February 9, 2009, 10:19 AM

July 20, 2007 — -- For wrestling fans, it's a familiar storyline: another pro wrestler dead under mysterious circumstances way before his time.

Authorities in New Hampshire found former professional wrestler John Kronus dead in his girlfriend's apartment after responding to a call describing a 34-year-old "untimely death."

While police are not calling the wrestler's death suspicious, an autopsy and toxicology report are required because of Kronus' youth.

"Because of his age, an autopsy will be performed in Concord," Sgt. Chris Adams, a spokesman for the Laconia, N.H., police department, told ABC News. "They'll determine the cause of death, and most likely they'll do the toxicology report."

Kronus, whose real name was George Caiazo, wrestled from 1989 to 2002, gaining acclaim for his part in Extreme Championship Wrestling's champion tag team the Eliminators. The ECW was purchased by the World Wrestling Inc. in 2001.

The death came the same week that toxicology reports revealed 40-year-old wrestler Chris Benoit had elevated levels of testosterone in his body when police say he systematically killed his wife and son before hanging himself the weekend of June 22.

Since the Benoit family was found dead, professional wrestling has come under fire for the disproportionate number of wrestlers who have died early since 1985. Wrestling fans grown accustomed to news of wrestlers dying young were no lo longer alone.

Earlier this month U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., called for Congress to investigate steroid allegations in professional wrestling.

"Between 1985 and 2006, 89 wrestlers have died before the age of 50," Stearns told the Baltimore Sun. "Of course, not all of these deaths can be attributed to steroid use. However, this abnormally high number of deaths of young, fit athletes should raise congressional alarms."

The local fire department received the call shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday and responded with police to an apartment just north of Laconia's downtown area, according to Adams.

Authorities found Kronus dead upon arrival, and he was surrounded by neighbors and his girlfriend, according to Adams.

"There was nothing at the scene that pointed to anything suspicious as far as foul play," Adams said. "But whenever you have someone that young passing away, you definitely want to do the autopsy to see what happened."