Friends remember late anchorwoman, reward fund at $30,000

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Memphis, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - From Little Rock to Memphis, friends, family and co-workers are in shock over the death of Arkansas anchorwoman Anne Pressly. A reward fund set up by KATV for information leading to the arrest of Pressly's attacker now stands at over $30,000.

"It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne would overcome the injuries inflicted upon her in the brutal attack at her home," said Pressly's parents Guy and Patti Cannady in a statement released Saturday evening. "We were with her in her last moments, and although our hearts are broken, we are at the same time comforted by our faith knowing that Anne is now with our Heavenly Father."

The 26-year-old died Saturday at an Arkansas hospital as a result of injuries sustained during an attack inside her Little Rock home earlier this week.

Pressly began her career at KATV Little Rock as an intern, and signed on as a producer and news reporter in 2004. She was recently promoted to co-host their morning newscast.

Pressly's co-workers say that one encounter with the spirited young woman left people feeling like they'd known her for years.

"I said 'Anne, you have a gift - a gift like a lot of people don't have. You just bring happiness into people's lives,'" said KATV President Dale Nicholson.

Pressly was a former WMC-TV intern who earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Memphis' Rhodes College in 2004.

"A great girl...sweet and likable. Everyone loved her," said college friend Megan Freeman.

Last week, members of the social networking Web site Facebook formed a group on the site called "Prayer for Anne Pressly" that started with 225 invitations and now has around 9,500 members -- a testament to how many lives the young woman touched.

A memorial service will be held in Little Rock Monday night at 7:00 p.m. at Fellowship Baptist Church.

to e-mail Lori Brown.