UPDATE: Little Rock Police Issue New Statement on Anne Pressly Investigation

UPDATE II: Little Rock Police are clearly feeling the heat on the progress of their investigation. This afternoon, they released a statement. Arkansas Business media writer Mark Hengel reports:

The LRPD said it has received assistance from multiple law enforcement departments – both state and national – and remains in contact with others, according to the release.

“I recognize that the lack of daily disclosures or additional information is frustrating to the media and to members of our community,” Stuart Thomas, LRPD chief of police, said in the news release. “However, the foremost objective here is for a successful investigation leading to an arrest and conviction in this matter and the Department will conduct any releases of information with this objective solely on point.”

Thomas then asked that all complaints be directed at him.

“Any complaints or criticism concerning the Department’s efforts or the lack of public releases of information should be addressed solely to me and not to the police officers and detectives who are working diligently on behalf of our citizens,” according to the news release.

The complete story here.

Meanwhile, a memorial service for Pressly takes place tonight, 7 p.m., at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

UPDATE: Tributes pour in following Pressly’s death.

Original Post:

We’ve been busy this week, with Arkansas Business’ first business expo, Commerce Arkansas, with the Little Rock Regional Chamber Commerce, and now an Internet conference in Chicago, where we’ll be until late tomorrow.

So it’s beyond sad to see news out of Little Rock that KATV-TV, Channel 7, anchor Anne Pressly has died from injuries suffered after an attack, in her home, early Monday morning:

An Arkansas television anchorwoman found beaten at her home earlier this week has died from her injuries.

Hospital officials say Anne Pressly, 26, died Saturday at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center. Hospital spokeswoman Margaret Preston says family members declined to release any other details about Pressly’s death.

Pressly was beaten around the head, face and neck during the attack. She had been unable to communicate with her family or police, while being kept sedated in the intensive care unit.

I didn’t know Anne personally, but I know many of her friends. They’ve all been shocked by the attack, and hopeful that she would recover. Today’s news is just terrible. There’s no other way to put it.

As of tonight, Little Rock Police have no new information in the investigation. Pressly’s father, however, says he believes she was targeted. Arkansas Business Outtakes media writer Mark Hengel this week talks to Al Thompson of the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla., about speculation that Pressly’s celebrity as a television personality could have led to the attack:

Tompkins … said it is fairly common for TV personalities to experience fans who are a little too fanatical. Most are harmless, but a few have taken their interest to the point of obsession, he said.

Tompkins has 25 years of experience working as a television reporter and news director in various markets. During that time he’s had several nuisances, he said, but none whom he felt might harm him. Being known and threatened by viewers is an unfortunate part of the business, he said.

“Journalists can’t lead a sheltered life and still be a journalist,” Tompkins said. Well-known people in any walk of life – “athletes, teachers, politicians,” he said – sometimes have fans who go too far.

Meanwhile, the media has been somewhat awkwardly struggling with just how to report this story — a story involving one of their own:

[KATV] also will remain cautious about covering the story. Another local TV station, KARK-TV, Channel 4, and the Arkansas Blog, published by the Arkansas Times, publicized a break in the case upon learning that Pressly’s credit card was used at a Little Rock gas station. Both news outlets pulled the reports from their Web site after the LRPD contacted them.

“I’m on the side that I wouldn’t want to injure the LRPD’s case,” Nicholson said, though he acknowledged the information was newsworthy.

A complicated story, indeed. And one that has tonight become even more heartbreaking.

More

More on Anne Pressly from the ArkansasBusiness.com archives

From the Arkansas Project

Arkansas Times

Brian Chilson photo

KATV

KTHV and statement from Pressly family

AP via Huffington Post

After the jump, video of KATV’s Saturday evening news cast.

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4 Responses

  1. […] released a statement yesterday that said they were still pursuing the case. Pressly’s memorial service took place last […]

  2. I would just like to send my condolences to the family of Anne Pressley. While her beauty is what initially caught my attention to the news story–I was saddened to learn that she had been brutally attacked. Then several days later I learned that Anne had expired. I don’t know you and live a world away in Brooklyn, NY and perhaps from entirely different backgrounds. But tradegy is tradegy–be it Arkansas, Brooklyn, or Iraq for that matter. My son Ryan and I are praying for you and your family. Anne seemed like a wonderful, caring person. God bless.

    From the Clark/Ramos Family
    Brooklyn, NY

  3. This story touched my heart, and saddens me deeply. Such a tradegy.

  4. To the Parents of Anne Pressley,

    I am so sorry for the terrible tragedy of losing your daughter. My wife and I lost our 21 year-old son to Hodskins disease last year and we know how difficult it is to have someone so full of life, have their life come to such a sudden end. We are still in a state of shock over our son. So I can understand how you must feel under such terrible circumstances.It’s impossible to understand why just a terrible thing can happen and we try to carry on as best as we can in the memory of
    our child.I wish you all the strength and wisdom you will need to try to deal with this.

    Take care

    Steven Baltuck

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