by Max Brantley
CRIME SCENE: Police look for evidence. Photo by Gerard Matthews
A police spokesman initially said Pressly was "beaten and stabbed" and that her injuries were "life-threatening." The police do not have a suspect.
4 PM UPDATE: Officials remain mum about Pressly's condition, but sources say it is critical. KATV General Manager Dale Nicholson issued this statement about Pressly in the late afternoon. A KATV afternoon report confirmed a source's report to us that Pressly's injuries seemed due to "blunt force trauma," a beating so severe that it tore skin. She may not have been stabbed.
Police were called about 5 a.m. Her mother, Patricia Cannady of Little Rock, had found her in bed suffering from severe injuries about 4:30 a.m. Neighbors said it was her mother's custom to make a wakeup call to her daughter each morning and she went to check on her when she did not answer the call. Another neighbor returned Pressly's dogs (two cocker spaniels, according to her KATV webpage) to the home early this morning. They'd apparently been let loose some time during the night. Police said Pressly's purse was missing, which raised robbery as a potential motive. There were no signs of forced entry at the home, police said.
Police said Pressly was last seen in good health with friends about 10:30 p.m. Sunday. She'd attended a birthday party at a restaurant, KATV said later.
The initial police report said Pressly was unconscious when they arrived and that there were signs of broken bones, severe lacerations and possible internal injury. The officer who responded observed bleeding from her head. Further report indicates severe facial and head wounds. There's speculation that she could have been asleep when attacked and unable to run or defend herself.
KATV's report on the assault said police were interviewing friends about whether Pressly had ever mentioned being threatened or stalked, but a police spokesman told KTHV there'd been no reports of stalking by Pressly.
Pressly lived alone in the rented house in the 4900 block of Club Road, which, on account of many larger homes nearby and the poximity of the Country Club of Little Rock is one of the city's most expensive neighborhoods. Initial police reports and neighbors said Pressley was taken to St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center for treatment. KATV staffers were gathered there during the day. A hospital spokesman twice denied that "a person by that name" was a patient there and provided no information on her condition.
The crime had earmarks of a targeted act against a single person. The police have told the local neighborhood association, however, that patrols in the area will be increased until a suspect is arrested.
Pressly has a small role in the current movie, "W," Oliver Stone's portrayal of George W. Bush. She played commentator Ann Coulter in the movie, much of it filmed in Shreveport.
Pressly is a South Carolina native who moved to Little Rock when she was in high school and attended Pulaski Academy. She was a graduate of Rhodes College. More information about her here from KATV. She anchored the KATV morning show.
UPDATE: Her family has issued a statement saying they are hopeful of a full recovery.
Photos below show her at work and, in a photo taken by the Times' Patrick Jones, at a recent fashion show for charity at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.