Woman 'detained' in connection with murder of American doctor in Belize: Report

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The investigation into the double murder of an American doctor and his local guide in Belize has made progress, according to a local news station.

Police have "detained" a woman who allegedly was close with the guide, the station, News 5 Belize, reported Wednesday.

The guide, Mario Graniel, had been hired to take Dr. Gary Swank fishing while the U.S. doctor was on vacation when they both were fatally shot.

Swank was a victim of circumstance as Graniel "had a misunderstanding with one of the notorious gang figures in San Pedro," Chester Williams, the commissioner of police in Belize, said earlier this week. Graniel's home was shot at before the murders, too, Williams said.

The woman, whose identity the station did reveal, has not been charged.

Police in Belize did not immediately respond to ABC News' request Thursday for comment about the woman involved in the case.

News 5 Belize said the woman has been cooperating with authorities and has not been named as a suspect.

News 5 Belize reports that the woman is thought to have played an important role in the murders, but shared no further details about what that role could have entailed.

Swank's family released a statement Tuesday, saying that they are "heartbroken."

"His senseless murder has left us to mourn a purposeful life ended too soon," the family said in their statement. "Gary was an incredibly driven individual, both professionally and personally, and we were blessed to have been a part of his life.

"His death will be felt throughout the community, as he was a physician, caregiver, teacher, mentor, avid outdoorsman, neighbor, colleague, and friend to many," the statement reads.

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