Belize Police Find Body Of Missing US Journalist

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ABC7 Chicago news producer Anne Swaney was found murdered in Belize on Jan. 15th 2016.
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ABC7 Chicago news producer Anne Swaney.

News Americas, BELIZE CITY, Belize, Sun. Jan. 17, 2016: Police in Belize late last night said they found the body of missing journalist Anne Swaney near the Mopan River in the Central American nation.

Police discovered her body at approximately 8:15 a.m. on January 16, 2016.  Physical examinations at the scene revealed visible bruises around her neck and lacerations on her head.  The body was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.  A post mortem autopsy was performed and revealed the cause of death to be asphyxia due to compression of the neck area, throttling and blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck.  There were no signs of sexual assault as part of this examination.

Swaney, 39, a ABC7 Chicago news producer, was reported missing to poilice on January 14, 2016 by the proprietor of Nabitunich Resort in Benque Viejo del Carmen.  Police engaged in a search for Anne, soliciting the assistance of a K-9 unit.  After ending the search due to darkness on the night of January 14th, the search continued on Friday, January 15th.

Police apprehended and are questioning a person of interest who was found fishing near the scene of the crime. A statement late Saturday night said additional information will be made available as the investigation proceeds.

The statement also added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Anne’s family.  We are dedicated to bringing swift justice to the person who committed this horrible act.”

Swaney worked at ABC7 for 16 years after graduating from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She had been on a week-long vacation in Belize, according to police and the U.S. State Department.

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