Anne Swaney, executive producer of online operations at ABC7 in Chicago, was found murdered in Belize on Friday.
REMEMBERING OUR FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE: Anne Swaney was murdered while traveling in Belize: https://t.co/gUFDk5jcHw pic.twitter.com/lqNQk8KgjP
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) January 16, 2016
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Swaney was vacationing in western Belize, staying at the Nabitunich Resort near the town of San Jose Succotz, which has long been a popular tourist locale.
The owner of the resort reported Anne Swaney missing at around 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. Police found her belongings on a deck along the local river bank, but couldn’t locate Swaney. Authorities resumed their search on Friday, and found her bruised body floating in the river. The 39-year-old suffered blunt force trauma to her head and neck, rendering the case a homicide. Reports vary on whether or not Anne Swaney was sexually assaulted, too.
John Idler, president and general manager at ABC7, issued a statement regarding Anne Swaney’s untimely death.
“She was a trailblazer in the digital news space and was one of our first website employees,” the statement read. “Anne helped us evolve our business and our newsroom, but most importantly, she was a kind person who always had a smile and a positive attitude.”
Anne Swaney was from Missouri. Her parents, who reside there, confirmed her death, but made no further statement.
Anne Swaney: ABC Producer Murdered & Sexually Assaulted While On Vacation In Belize https://t.co/m3ZesS5GM3 pic.twitter.com/FKzt6B8xdY
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) January 16, 2016
The U.S. State Department issued a statement via a Washington spokesperson.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones on their loss,” the statement reads.
Surely the U.S. State Department will remain apprised of the investigation into Anne Swasey’s homicide.