Catherine Shaw: Missing British backpacker found dead in Guatemala

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A young British backpacker who disappeared in Guatemala has been found dead.

Catherine Shaw, 23, was last seen in the Central American country in the early hours of 5 March and was reported missing later that day.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been supporting Ms Shaw’s family, said it was “saddened to announce” a body had been found on Monday.

“We are now able to confirm that the body found in the search in Guatemala is that of missing Catherine Shaw,” the trust said.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped in the search. Our thoughts are with Catherine’s family, who we will continue to support as they need.”

Police in Guatemala said they had a launched a criminal investigation into Ms Shaw’s death.

Ms Shaw, from Witney near Oxford, had been staying in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala with a friend at the time of her disappearance.

The Facebook page set up to find her said she had left the Eco Hotel in Mayachik with a puppy shortly before 5.30am on 5 March.

The animal was found alive “shivering and crying” on Friday morning at the highest lookout of Indian Nose, a volcano overlooking Lake Atitlan.

A major search involving drones, a helicopter and a dive team was launched in effort to find Ms Shaw.

Her jacket was found on a mountain trail, reportedly about two miles from where Ms Shaw was last seen.

Her body was then discovered at the top of El Naudiz in San Juan La Laguna, according to the Facebook appeal page.

Ms Shaw’s parents Ann and Tarquin had issued a heartfelt plea to find their daughter following her disappearance, saying they had been “desperately worried” since she went missing.

“She has always been really good about keeping in touch and informing us of her whereabouts and activities,” they said in a statement.

“So this is unusual behaviour which gives us great concern for her safety. Please help us to find her.”

In a video released by the trust, Ms Shaw’s mother urged her to get in touch, while her father described his daughter as of “slim build, and about 5ft 7in tall”.

“Your friends, your family are all really worried about you, please come home sweetheart,” he added.

Matthew Searle, chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust, had stressed how the “first few days are vitally important” because those who may have seen something could still be in the area.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British woman reported missing in Guatemala and are in contact with the local authorities.”

(c) Sky News 2019: Catherine Shaw: Missing British backpacker found dead in Guatemala

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