Heartbreaking. ABC7 Chicago news producer Anne Swaney was found murdered on Friday, January 15, while on a week-long vacation in Belize, according to police and the U.S. State Department.
Swaney, 39, was found floating face down and only wearing a bra in the Mopan River, near Belize’s border with Guatemala.
“Her neck and either side of her head had laceration and that led us to believe it was a case of murder,” Benque Viejo Police Superintendent Daniel Arzu told ABC7 Chicago.
The executive web producer was staying at the Nabitunich Farm near San Jose Succotz before she was reported missing. She was last seen on Thursday, January 14, when she went to do yoga on a wooden deck by the river.
An autopsy was unable to determine if Swaney had been sexually assaulted, but the cause of death was ruled to be manual strangulation, oxygen deprivation, and blunt trauma to the head and neck, according to NBC Chicago.
Arzu said that a Guatemalan man was being questioned, but they have not declared him a suspect, the New York Daily News reports.
Swaney worked at ABC7 for 16 years after graduating from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Her coworkers described her as a “trailblazer in the digital news space” and noted her “kindness, strength, and intelligence.”