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Police tell Belizean media that murdered Roanoke doctor was 'collateral damage'

He was reportedly murdered for witnessing killing of tour guide

Courtesy of Carilion Clinic

SAN PEDRO, Belize – Belizean authorities now say that a Roanoke doctor who was murdered was "collateral damage." 

According to Breaking Belize News, authorities believe that Dr. Gary Swank was murdered because he was a witness to the murder of his tour guide, Mario Graniel. 

Swank, 53, was a cardiologist at Carilion Clinic and was on a fly fishing expedition. He had recently been promoted to associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

Authorities tell BBN that Graniel had a disagreement with a "notorious gang figure" days before he was killed. 

BBN reports that on Friday Graniel's home was shot at and a bullet went through the door of his home. Police told the Belizean news outlet that two people who they believe were responsible for the shooting at his home were arrested. Authorities were reportedly waiting for Graniel to make a report but he never showed up.  

10 News has been unsuccessful in its attempts to reach the United States Consulate in Belize, or the local authorities. But authorities in Belize tell the San Pedro Sun that he was found floating facedown in a lagoon with several gunshot wounds. Mario Graniel, 53, a well-known local Belizian tour guide, was also found dead in the boat with several gunshot wounds.