Sad news from Chicago.
WLS Executive Producer Anne Swaney was murdered while vacationing in the Central American country of Belize.
Belize police found Swaney's body and her death is considered a homicide.
WLS reported that Swaney, "was an avid world traveler and on a vacation in the Cayo District of western Belize, a popular destination for American adventure travelers and horse enthusiasts."
According to a news report from Belize, Swaney was reported missing yesterday by the owner of the resort where she was staying. Her body was found today in a nearby river with injuries to her forehead and neck. A suspect is already in custody in this murder investigation, although he is not currently considered a prime suspect.
An autopsy performed Friday night in Belize, Swaney's death was caused by blows to her head, followed by strangulation. The autopsy report said she died from "asphyxia due to compression of the neck area, throttling and blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck region."
Swaney has been with WLS since November 1999. She helped oversee content found on the television station's website.
A spokesperson for WLS released a statement from GM John Idler, which read: "Anne Swaney died yesterday while vacationing in Belize. She was a tremendous leader in our newsroom, with a penchant for detail and a passion for always getting it right. Her keen knowledge of news and innate patience made her a remarkable teacher and mentor. Anne was a trailblazer in the digital news space and was one of our first website employees. Anne helped us evolve our business and our newsroom, but most importantly she was a kind person who always had a smile and a positive attitude. She always made us better, and will be missed by everyone."
Swaney was 39 years old.