Police Arrest Son in Death of Bret Harte Kindergarten Teacher

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Parents set up a flower memorial outside Bret Harte's Classroom of Karyn Lombardo who lost her life last night in a dispute with her son. ( Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank police are investigating the circumstances around a possible murder on Tuesday evening of a kindergarten teacher by her adult son.

Karyn Lombardo (Bret Hardt website)

Paramedics were first called to the home at 800 block of N. Avon at 10:02 pm Tuesday night, May 7, for a woman who was found unconscious and not breathing. Police were also dispatched to the address for a medical situation and were told en route to the call that they had prior contacts at the address for an autistic male, believed to be the victim’s son.

Police say they found the unconscious woman inside the home, and life-saving measures were taken by officers and paramedics, but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman, identified as 57-year-old Karyn Lombardo, lived in the home with her adult son and husband.

Lombardo was a Burbank Unified School District kindergarten teacher at Bret Hardt Elementary School. The news hit the close-knit school hard Wednesday morning, with School Psychologists and the Family Service Agency of Burbank on the scene, along with district personnel supporting staff and students.

According to Sgt. Stephen Turner of the Burbank Police Department, “Burbank Police Detectives responded to the scene and took over the investigation. Ms. Lombardo’s adult son was subsequently arrested and booked for murder, 187(a) PC, based on information obtained and evidence at the scene revealing he caused her death during an altercation in the family home. There are no outstanding suspects or any danger to the community.”

Police arrested Lombardo’s son, identified as 25-year-old Kyle Lombardo, without incident at the scene and is due to appear in court on Thursday. He’s being held in-lieu of $2 million bail. Detectives will forward the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration. 

Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Dr. John Paramo released a statement highlighting Lombardo’s time in the district: “Ms. Lombardo’s career began in Burbank Unified as a bilingual teacher at Joaquin Miller Elementary in 1990. Only a few years later, in 1993, Ms. Lombardo transferred to Bret Harte Elementary, where she worked for 30 years in multiple teaching roles, including teaching performing arts chorus, intervention, and kindergarten.”

“Over the course of her highly accomplished career, Ms. Lombardo touched the lives of thousands of students, parents, and colleagues, who will be mourning this loss in the days to come. Her dedication, warmth, and passion for teaching touched many students and colleagues’ lives. Her profound impact and loss on this community will be deeply felt throughout the City of Burbank.”

Parents and students set up a flower memorial outside Bret Harte’s Classroom of Karyn Lombardo, who lost her life last night in a dispute with her son. ( Photo by Ross A Benson)

Paramo also said that “School Psychologists and the Family Service Agency of Burbank are on-site at Bret Harte Elementary to support students and staff and will remain present in the coming days. The same resources are available at each school site, and we encourage students to utilize these services. Our priority is to help our community navigate this challenge with care and compassion.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Lombardo’s family and friends and all those whose lives were forever changed for the better by her tireless dedication and service to the youth of Burbank. We are a strong community. We are Burbank. We will work on getting through this tragedy together. You can count on our district to provide for you,” said Paramo in an email sent across the district.

Bret Harte PTA President Ashley Erikson said the entire school community has been hit hard by the tragedy, “Karyn Lombardo was the heart and soul of Bret Harte. She lit up the hallways with her bright smile, contagious energy and school spirit. The parents here are absolutely heartbroken as we all try to process this profound loss in our community.”

She was also very thankful for the support of the District and Paramo, “John Paramo had food delivered to the school for all the teachers, they cleared the schedule of the library to allow space for teachers to grieve and get help, and they pulled in subs all across the district from different schools to be there on campus and on the yard.”

This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Burbank Police Detectives at (818) 238-3210.