'We are heartbroken' Swank family releases statement after Roanoke doctor's murder in Belize

He was reportedly murdered for witnessing killing of tour guide

ROANOKE, Va. – The family of Roanoke doctor, Gary Swank, who was found murdered in San Pedro, Belize released a statement Tuesday.

"We are heartbroken at the loss of our incredible husband and devoted father Gary Swank, M.D., who we will forever cherish. His senseless murder has left us to mourn a purposeful life ended too soon. 

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. 

We are grateful for the overwhelming love shown by family, friends, patients and strangers. For the countless prayers, flowers, and phone calls – thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

As we take time to grieve this unbelievable loss, we will not be doing any media interviews. Please respect our privacy during this difficult time."

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.