American Journalist of ABC 7 News Murdered in Western Belize

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Updated: January 15, 2016

An American journalist has turned up dead in Western Belize. Thirty nine year old Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney who was an executive producer of online operations at ABC7 was reported missing yesterday by Santiago Juan of Nabitunich Farm Resort and Owner of Hanna’s Stable. Swaney was a lover of horses and was staying in a cabin at the Resort. A search was conducted by a team after which Police was called to the scene.  They conducted a search in the area where her belongings were found. Love News spoke to Head investigator Inspector Daniel Arzu, Officer in Command at Benque Viejo Cayo who told us where they retrieved the body.

DANIEL ARZU: “Sometime around 5 pm Santiago Juan a farmer of and likewise owner of Hannah’s stable located at the same resort reported that sometime around 8 am Ann Elizabeth Swaney went to the river to practice her yoga. To their concerns she did not return up to the evening time and apparently there was a tour of the said resort and upon their return from the tour sometime around 3:30 pm they observed Ann’s personal effects that were on a wooden deck. Police visited the location along the Mopan River and conducted their search. Nothing was seen other than her personal belongings. We later employed the canine section to assist and we got indication that the person may have been in the river. None the less we had to suspend our operations given the time of the day. However at first light this morning a team was again deployed to the area.”

Reports are that the area where the body of Swaney was found was where she would practice Yoga every day since at the resort. Inspector Arzu has classified the death as a murder given the state of the body.

DANIEL ARZU: “We discovered the body of Anna Elizabeth Swaney in the river face down. She was retrieved and we observed that there was physical violence to her body. She had bruises around her neck that would give an impression that there was some strangling. She had two lacerations on either side of her head so we suspected that it is a murder. The body was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where it was pronounced dead by the doctor on duty and the body is now awaiting a post mortem examination and will be transported to the Belize City morgue where that post mortem will be conducted. We are investigating and so far we have no suspects so that is where we are at this time.”

Swaney came to Belize on the January 9 and was staying at the resort for seven days. Police are also speculating that Swaney might have been sexually assaulted. Police also reported that her belongings were found on rock nearby except for her cell phone.  The website that Swaney reportedly ran was abc7chicago.com where we were able to see ABC7 acknowledging her by saying “News of Anne’s death brought tears at ABC7, where she was being remembered as a newsroom leader with a penchant for detail and a passion for getting facts straight.” End of quote. Police continue their investigation.