On Saturday, a local news anchor and former basketball star died suddenly.
Neena Pacholke, an anchor for WOAW, an ABC News station in Wasau, Wisconsin, was discovered dead in her home after allegedly making a series of suicide remarks.
Tuesday, The Western Journal contacted the Wasau Police Department about Pacholke and received the following comment.
“The Wausau Police Department and Marathon County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the death of a 27-year-old woman, identified as Neena Pacholke, that occurred on Saturday, August 27. Wausau Police Department Officers were dispatched to a home on Wausau’s southeast side Saturday morning to check the welfare of a woman who reportedly made suicidal statements,” the statement read.
“After receiving no answer at the door, officers entered the home and found Pacholke deceased. Foul play is not suspected. The case remains under investigation and no additional details will be released at this time.”
Pacholke, according to the Tampa Bay Times, was a former University of South Florida women’s basketball player renowned for her 3-point shooting skills. She earned a letter throughout her three years at USF.
Pacholke also guided her Orlando high school, Freedom High School, to its first-ever state tournament appearance in 2013.
Pacholke was engaged to be married at the time of her death. According to the Crate and Barrell registration, the ceremony was scheduled for October 12, seven weeks after her passing.
According to the Times, her sister, Kaitlynn, an assistant women’s basketball coach at Southern Mississippi and Pacholke’s former high school teammate, stated, “My sister was by far the happiest person I thought I knew.”
No matter how well you believe you know someone, you cannot always know what they are going through…. My sister had access to every conceivable resource. She was beloved by everybody. She was extremely proficient at her work.”
On Sunday, WOAW announced Pacholke’s demise in an article.
“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,” the article stated..
The outlet urged followers to send their condolences and share their favorite memories of the anchor on its Facebook page.
Pacholke’s co-anchor at WOAW, Brendan Mackay, shared his thoughts via a Facebook post on Monday.
“I have never met anyone in my entire life that is more loved than this girl. Everyday she made people smile, whether that was through a tv screen or just being an incredible friend. She was so happy and so full of life and a role model. Neena was so talented. She has so many friends and family members that love her so so so much,” Mackey wrote.
“Whether we were skiing or coming up with fun bits for the show or out on a Saturday night she always made everything more fun. Being your co-anchor Neena was an honor. You were batman and I was robin. When I joined WAOW you made it clear we were going to work hard and compete with the best.
“Let’s remember Neena Pacholke for the beautiful person she was. The brightest light in the room. The biggest smile and the funniest laugh.”