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American Journalist found dead in Cayo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00

swaney1.jpg - 38.95 KbAnne Swaney, a Journalist working for ABC 7 online operations in the United States was found lifeless by Benque Viejo Police at about 8:15 am on Friday morning of this past week; face down in the Mopan River in a remote location near the property of the Nabitunich Farm Resort at the outskirts of Succotz Village. (Nabitunich is located between mile 71 and 72 on the George Price Highway.) Police believe that she had also been sexually violated as she was partially nude. The body of Swaney was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where the doctor on duty pronounced it dead on arrival.

A post mortem examination that was conducted on the body has confirmed that the American National from Chicago died as a result of asphyxia due to compression to the neck area. The main examiner, Doctor Leyden Ken, also reported that the 39 year old died as a result of traumatic injuries (blunt force) to the head and neck region.

Sometime around 5:00 pm last Thursday, Santiago Juan, the owner of Hanna’s Stable reported that Anne Swaney had left for the river at about 8:00 am to practice yoga; there being no extra horse to take her for a tour with other tourists. By the time the other tourists had finished their tour at about 3:30 pm on that same day, they observed Anne Swaney’s belongings on a wooden deck, which immediately raised suspicion. Police employed the canine section and searched the area Thursday, obtaining leads that she may have been in the river, but had to abandon the search because of nightfall.

Having arrived in Belize on January 9th, the main reason why Anne Swaney was attracted to the Nabitunich Farm Resort for a week-long stay was because she loved the horses at Hanna’s Stable. Her visit to rural Cayo was just another in her long list of adventures.  According to the Cable News Network CNN, Anne Swaney had also done recent trips to Turkey, Greece, Costa Rica, London and a cattle drive in the Western United States. Growing up in Platte City, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City her loved career was in journalism, graduating from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in Chicago in 1998.
While the United States State Department has notified Swaney’s family of her death, there are yet few answers. Police had found a Guatemalan fisherman in the area, who had come into Belize illegally, without considering him a suspect in Swaney’s murder.

Just two weeks ago a Canadian movie maker, Matthiew Klinck was also found murdered about 15 feet from his home in a remote location in the Cayo District. As a result of the numerous media reports internationally on these murders, local tourist operators are becoming concerned that it will affect their bottom line.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 14:54