Missing Catherine Shaw: Guatemala death ‘a tragic accident’

Catherine Shaw Image copyright PA
Image caption Catherine Shaw left her accommodation in Guatemala in the early hours of 5 March

A British woman who went missing in Guatemala probably died in “a tragic accident”, a charity has said.

Catherine Shaw, 23, from Witney, Oxfordshire, was reported missing after she left Hotel Mayachik near Lake Atitlan on 5 March.

Her body was found by a search team about 60ft (18m) from the top of the Indian Nose hiking trail on Monday.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been helping Ms Shaw’s family, said “foul play was probably not involved”.

Trust chief executive Matthew Searle said speculation that she was raped and murdered was “incredibly unhelpful, distressing and unnecessary”.

‘Loved sunrises’

He said Ms Shaw had been fasting and she may have passed out or fallen “due to her lack of intake of food and fluid”.

He added: “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.”

The trust was also working to get pictures of Ms Shaw’s body removed from the internet, Mr Searle said.

Image copyright Lucie Blackman Trust
Image caption A jacket was found during the search

In a statement, her parents Ann and Tarquin thanked those who helped find her or sent messages of support.

“We wish it to be known how grateful our family are for the huge response locally and across the world in our search for Catherine,” they said.

“Catherine just loved mountains and sunrises. She died doing what she loved.”

A puppy which Ms Shaw took with her when she left the accommodation was found at the peak of the hiking trail on Friday morning.

Her body was discovered shortly after a jacket, believed to belong to Ms Shaw, was found nearby.

She set out travelling in September and had been with a friend in Guatemala for two weeks, having previously visited Mexico and California.

Over the weekend Guatemalan police, local people and Britons in the country searched along the Indian Nose hiking trail.

Drones were also used to search the wooded area.

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