Dad of Slain ABC Journo Lost Son 2 Years Ago: 'I'm a Mess'

Jack Swaney says death of daughter Anne, killed in Belize, 'hasn't sunk in'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2016 9:28 AM CST

Anne Swaney, the 39-year-old ABC 7 executive producer who was found murdered in Belize on Friday, died "from a random act of violence," her obituary reads. And, "like all victims, she deserved better." Her father, Jack Swaney, said as much in his interview with WLS-TV, the station Anne worked for. "Anne Elizabeth had a very short life, she had a very full life, and it hasn't sunk in, what we've lost," Jack Swaney said, per ABC News. His daughter, who was the executive producer for online operations at WLS, had worked for the Chicago ABC affiliate since 1999. That full life Jack Swaney spoke of included riding horses in Costa Rica and Turkey, driving cattle in Utah, and bicycling across Iowa, per her obituary—travels that may have worried other parents, but her dad took in stride. "As long as I heard her voice, I didn't care where she was," he told WLS.

And he says his pain is exacerbated because of another recent tragedy: the death of his son two years ago, also at the age of 39, due to a heart condition, the New York Daily News notes. "I'm not strong; I'm a mess," he told WLS. "Thursday morning, I woke up and I had a daughter. At 8:30, I didn't have a daughter. The day before, I'd gone to look by the cemetery and I'd visited my son … and here the next day it's go to the cemetery and see my son and see my daughter, and that's not fair." What's keeping him going: the support he's been receiving. "The tributes have been wonderful," he told WLS. "It makes me think, 'Wow, people besides me think she was pretty special, too.' And she was." A "person of interest" in Anne Swaney's case has been detained by Belize police, ABC notes. (More Belize stories.)

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