Investigators seek new leads in Anne Swaney murder

Tanja Babich Image
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Investigators seek new leads in Anne Swaney murder
EMBED <>More Videos

A week after the murder of Anne Swaney, the investigation is back to square one. The task force looking into her death will meet Thursday to figure out the next direction.

SAN IGNACIO, Belize (WLS) -- A week after the murder of ABC7 website executive producer Anne Swaney, the investigation is back to square one.

Police sources tell the I-Team that detectives are interviewing the wife of the ranch worker who was once considered a person of concern in the case, to confirm details of his story, including what time he left for work the day of Swaney's murder. Regardless, he is no longer considered a person of concern.

Sources say that while none of the ranch workers is considered a person of concern at the moment, they have not ruled out anyone as a suspect.

Police also have detectives at the resort again Thursday looking for clues in the property's fields.

A task force of detectives from Belize and several U.S. agents had a fresh look at the murder case Thursday to try to come up with new leads.

PHOTOS: Anne Swaney, 1976-2016

Police were calling William Xis, 22, a "person of concern," which is similar to a person of interest in the U.S. Xis is a trail guide at the resort where Swaney had been staying.

Swaney and Xis met on her first trip to Belize a year ago and became friends. She sent him a Chicago belt buckle upon returning home from her last trip.

She booked four days of horse rides with Xis during her most recent visit. Swaney, Xis and a female guide went on several long rides before her death.

Police said Xis is no longer a person of interest because he was on a trail ride with another group around the time Swaney was murdered.

Resort patriarch Rudy Juan was the last ranch worker to see Swaney alive, around 8 a.m. last Thursday.

"I met Anne going down towards the river just outside the resort," Juan said.

Swaney was scheduled to go on another ride that day, but the group didn't have enough horses to go around. She decided to stay back to practice yoga on a wooden deck.

Police found her body the next day in the river. An autopsy showed she was strangled.

READ: Anne Swaney's obituary


Many people have wanted to honor Anne's life. Her family requested contributions be sent to Northland Therapeutic Riding Center or Changing Leads Equine Rescue, which are both in Missouri.

The Northland Therapeutic Riding Center offers several therapeutic riding programs for those with special needs, and veterans.

Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Lowrey said the staff feel honored that Anne's family chose to keep her memory alive through their organization.

"I am very aware of the connection that she had with horses. Although I didnt know her personally, I know what a horse can do for you," Lowrey said. "I'd like to speak to her family and make sure they know how grateful we all are at NTRC for what theyve done for us."

The donations will go a long way, especially during the lean winter months when the organization isn't offering services.

WATCH: Remembering Anne Swaney


Investigators rule out 'person of concern' in Anne Swaney's murder

    Promising lead goes cold in Anne Swaney murder investigation

      New 'person of concern' in murder of ABC7's Anne Swaney

        FBI joins Anne Swaney murder investigation in Belize; I-Team inspects scene

          Murdered ABC7 web producer's teacher calls Anne Swaney 'kindest, smartest, just coolest lady'

            Belize police still holding person of interest in murder of ABC7 producer

              Friend of ABC7 producer Anne Swaney recalls their first trip to Belize

                Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney: 1976 - 2016

                  Belize police continue search for killer in murder of ABC7 producer

                    Jack Swaney talks about his daughter, Anne Swaney

                      ABC7 producer Anne Swaney was strangled in Belize, autopsy says

                        Tourist from Chicago murdered in Belize; Anne Swaney worked website at ABC7 Chicago

                          Remembering our ABC7 colleague Anne Swaney

                            Police chief speaks about Anne Swaney's murder in Belize