The Americas

Multiple people reportedly may be involved in murder of American news producer in Belize

People gather on a touristic boardwalk in Belize City, Belize June 22, 2016.

People gather on a touristic boardwalk in Belize City, Belize June 22, 2016.  (REUTERS/Jose Cabezas)

More than one person may be involved in the murder of an American news producer last year while she was staying at a vacation resort in Belize, according to a published report.

Anne Swaney, 39, was the executive producer of online operations at ABC 7 Chicago and a guest at the Nabitunich resort in the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen last January when she was initially reported missing. Her body was later found in a river, and according to a coroner's reported, she was strangled.

On Wednesday, an FBI official told ABC 7 Chicago the agency believes more than one person may be involved.

"We believe that people, the public in Belize, may have information about the suspect or suspects that committed this crime," FBI Special Agent Paul Clark told the television station.

NEWS PRODUCER FOUND DEAD IN BELIZE WAS STRANGLED

She was killed in a scenic place, a 400-acre farm close to the jungle and Mayan ruins near the Guatemala border, her station reported.

Her murder stunned co-workers, who described Swaney as an “avid world traveler.”

The FBI, which this week offered a $10,000 reward for information about her murder, has established a phone number in Belize for tips and information about the case. The Belize National Police, however, are in charge of the investigation.

"The only witness that we have is a Guatemalan national, he was in the area," Raphael Martinez, of the Belize National Police told ABC 7 Chicago. "However, due to insufficient evidence he was only charged with immigration offenses and he was allowed to go back home."

In May 2015, two Americans were murdered in a drug-related armed robbery. Two Americans were also kidnapped at gunpoint in January 2014 near the Guatemala border.

There is no nationwide tourist advisory for Belize, but those who visit the country are encouraged to be careful due to the increased crime rate.