A Platte City native who went on to a TV news career in Chicago was found strangled to death Friday in western Belize, according to authorities.
Anne Swaney, 39, grew up in Platte City before attending Northwestern University and working for ABC-Channel 7 in Chicago, her family said. She had lived in Chicago for at least 15 years.
Her body was discovered Friday morning floating facedown in the Mopan River, which flows into Belize from Guatemala.
Police in the border town of Benque Viejo del Carmen were questioning an unidentified Guatemalan national who had been fishing in the area but denied any involvement in her death.
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“We currently have him in custody, and we will be pursuing an interview for him to give account of himself,” Police Superintendent Daniel Arzu told local TV news.
Swaney was vacationing at the Nabitunich resort in the Cayo district when she was reported missing Thursday. She was a frequent international traveler and had been to Belize before, family members said.
Police say members of a tour group she should have been part of returned to the resort and couldn’t find her.
Her belongings were later found on a deck by the riverside where she had gone to do yoga exercises.
Family members said Saturday that they learned of Swaney’s death from the U.S. Embassy and were working with authorities to learn how the investigation was progressing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.