Missing tourist found dead with ‘blows to the body’ in Guatemala
An English backpacker who went missing last week in Guatemala has been found dead — and authorities said she suffered “blows to the body” and died of hemorrhaging caused by a traumatic brain injury.
Tourist Catherine Shaw, 23, of the southeastern English county of Oxfordshire, was reported missing after she left a hotel in Guatemala’s San Juan La Laguna off Lake Atitlan on March 5, the BBC reported.
Authorities announced Monday that Shaw’s unclothed and decomposing body had been found in the brush near a mountain overlook.
Shaw had died between four and six days earlier, the National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Guatemala said in a statement.
A doctor who performed the autopsy on Shaw said her body showed signs of trauma, but no apparent gunshot or stab wounds.
“In the preliminary findings, there are no wounds from bullets or sharp weapons,” Dr. Miguel Angel Samayoa said. “There are blows to the body.”
The Lucie Blackman Trust, a UK charity that has been assisting Shaw’s family, said in a statement Tuesday that her death may have been a “tragic accident” and that foul play was “probably not” involved.
The statement went on to say that Shaw had been fasting days before she went missing and that she was “disposing of possessions, including clothing.”
Speculation that Shaw was possibly raped and murdered was “incredibly unhelpful, distressing and unnecessary,” the chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust said, according to the BBC.
“She was very much a nature lover and adored sunrises, so it seems quite conceivable that she went up the mountain to greet the sunrise, shedding clothing as she went, and due to her lack of intake of food and fluid may have passed out or fallen, causing the wounds to her body,” the Lucie Blackman Trust said.
The charity cautioned that not all the facts are known and nothing can be ruled out.
Shaw’s parents, Ann and Tarquin Shaw, said in a statement, “Catherine just loved mountains and sunrises.”
“She died doing what she loved,” her parents said.
With Post wires