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Chicago journalist killed in Belize

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Jan. 16, 2016 at 5:45 PM

CHICAGO, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Chicago journalist Anne Swaney's body was found near the farm where she was vacationing in Belize, authorities said.

Swaney, an avid horseback rider, was visiting the Hanna Stables at the Nabitunich horse farm near San Jose Succotz. On Thursday, she was set to participate in a riding expedition. When organizers were short a horse, Swaney volunteered to stay behind. When the tour returned, Swaney was nowhere to be found, but her personal effects were reportedly out on the deck.

The owner called the police, which conducted a search with a canine unit. It was called off due to the darkness, and resumed the following morning.

Police discovered her body face down in the nearby Mopan river, where she was last seen practicing yoga. Authorities said an autopsy was underway at a Belize city morgue.

Police said she had bruises around her neck and lacerations on her head.

CNN reported the State Department has been in contact with Swaney's family. The investigation is ongoing.

Swaney, 39, was executive producer of digital operations for ABC7 Chicago. The station remembered her as an avid traveler and a newsroom leader.

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