WAUSAU, WI. (THECOUNT) — Neena Pacholke, a Tampa, Florida native who anchored the WAOW-TV morning show in Wausau, Wisconsin, died Saturday in an apparent suicide. She was 27.

No official cause of death was provided, however, several sources say Pacholke committed suicide on Saturday.

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WAOW.com released the following statement:

“The entire team here at News 9 are absolutely devastated by the loss as we know so many others are as well. Neena loved this community and the people who lived here. She was a kind person with a big heart and a contagious smile and we will miss her greatly.”

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Pacholke was a high school basketball standout who rejected small-college offers to remain in Tampa and play for the University of South Florida, where she graduated in 2017. She appeared in only a handful of games in three seasons but was part of two teams that reached the NCAA Tournament, the newspaper reported.

Prior to being named morning news anchor in February 2019, Pacholke was a multimedia journalist and reporter at WAOW. She had video production internships at Cumulus Media and at the Moffitt Cancer Center prior to her move to Wausau, according to her LinkedIn profile.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

DEVELOPING::

Geo quick facts: Wausau is a city straddling the Wisconsin River in central Wisconsin. The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum displays nature-inspired paintings and sculptures. West, the Yawkey House Museum preserves a grand 1901 home built in the neoclassical style. Opposite, the Woodson History Center has a library and exhibit area. Southwest, Rib Mountain State Park includes trails, an observation tower and the Granite Peak Ski Area – wikipedia.

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