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Michele Gillen, an Emerson College, Boston graduate and longtime South Florida television investigative reporter has died from natural causes.

Gillen was 66.

Friday, producer and friend Marcia Izaguirre posted a tribute on Facebook.

“For all those who knew her, she was a relentless warrior who fought indefatigably for the vulnerable,” Izaguirre wrote. “In every story she delved into, she aimed to discover the truth and spur change to improve the quality of life of her community.”

Gillen won a total of 39 local Emmys in her career.

Gillen started at WPLG Local 10 in 1980 where Izaguirre said Gillen’s work on housing facilities for the elderly led to national legislation against elder abuse. In 1988, Guillen moved to NBC as a correspondent for Dateline. Guillen also worked on KCBS-TV in Los Angeles and eventually returned to Miami as an investigative reporter for WFOR Channel 4/CBS.

Reporting on her passing, CBS Miami, Channel 4 said, Guillen “was a passionate journalist devoted to helping those who could not help themselves.”

Her 2006 series, “The forgotten floor” focused on mentally ill inmates at the Miami-Dade County jail. Guillen also founded the “adopt a bear” program given to disadvantaged children in the juvenile court system, who faced difficult moments in their lives.

For the CBS 4 report, click here.


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