Police: Brutally Beaten Arkansas Anchorwoman Likely the Victim of Random Robber, Not Stalker

An Arkansas TV anchor savagely beaten in her bed was likely the victim of a random robbery and may not have been targeted because of her local celebrity status, police said Tuesday.

KATV personality Anne Pressly, 26, remained in critical but stable condition after the brutal attack at her home.

And though detectives were initially investigating the possibility of a stalker, Little Rock Police spokeswoman Sgt. Cassandra Davis told FOX News that so far, the evidence doesn't point to a culprit who intentionally went after her.

The person responsible was still on the loose Tuesday.

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"We believe the motive to be robbery," Davis said Tuesday. "We're checking with colleagues ... to see if there is anyone out there that has an unusual interest in this person. The only thing we can go on right now is that it was a random attack of robbery."

The popular anchorwoman had a small part in the just-released President Bush biopic "W."

Pressly was found Monday a half-hour before she was due on the set of "Daybreak," a morning mix of news and features on Little Rock's ABC affiliate.

Her mother discovered the TV reporter battered and bloodied after she didn't answer a wake-up call. Pressly was in her bed, unresponsive and bleeding from her head.

Davis described the injuries as "severe wounds" and said Pressly had been stabbed. KATV, citing investigators, said her injuries were from blunt force trauma to the head and upper body.

Pressly's purse was missing, and police said she may have been beaten during a robbery, though there was no sign of forced entry into her home.

Asked whether Pressly may have been targeted because of her job, Davis said officers were talking to station employees to determine whether Pressly "has had any problems." Davis would not discuss specifics.

Pressly lived alone and was believed to have been robbed and attacked overnight, between about 10 p.m. Sunday and dawn on Monday.

In a statement, KATV president and general manager Dale Nicholson said the anchorwoman "is a person who simply lights up the room, by just walking in.

"The KATV family is having to deal with a personal crisis in our lives with the senseless brutality last night to one of our Daybreak anchors, Anne Pressly," Nicholson said Monday. "I know her viewers will join her family as well as the KATV family in praying for a speedy recovery for Anne, who means so much to all of our staff."

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The last known contact with Pressly was between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

A friend and colleague at KARK-TV, Mallory Hardin, said she had dinner with Pressly that night, then later went to see "W" with other friends. Hardin said she and Pressly exchanged text messages about the film afterward and that nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Pressly sent her a "bubbly, wonderful text," Hardin told NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday. She said news of her friend's attack was surreal.

"If there's one person that doesn't have an enemy, it is Anne Pressly," Hardin said. "She's wonderful to everybody. She's the most loving girl that anyone could ever meet."

Police said Pressly's mother, Patricia Cannady, regularly gives her daughter a wake-up call and went to her home Monday when Pressly didn't answer. A man who answered Cannady's phone said the family had no comment.

Pressly won a small role in the new Oliver Stone movie after traveling to Shreveport, La. — where much of the movie was filmed — to work on a story on the region's film industry.

The movie's casting director noticed her and cast her to appear as a conservative commentator who speaks favorably of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" event on an aircraft carrier shortly after the start of the Iraq war.

Kate Hubin, a spokeswoman for the film company Lionsgate, confirmed Pressly's role but declined further comment.

KATV's Web site says Pressly's most notable interview was with Vice President Dick Cheney.

Traveling through an Arkansas town, the anchorwoman found the highway blocked in front of a hunting goods store because Cheney was inside. Pressly asked for an interview, which she conducted in the ammunition aisle.

Little Rock Police asked anyone with any information to call them at (501) 371-4660

The Associated Press contributed to this report.