- Lucie Blackman Trust
- British backpacker Catherine Shaw was found dead in Guatemala nearly one week after her disappearance.
- She was last seen leaving her hostel at 5:23 a.m. with a stray puppy.
- Shaw had been fasting and disposing of possessions in the days leading up to her disappearance.
- The charity supporting her family does not suspect foul play, and could have died because of lack of sustenance.
The dead body of a 23-year British backpacker was found on a Guatemalan mountainside on Monday, nearly one week after her she left her hostel in the early morning with a stray puppy.
The Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity that supports the family of British people missing abroad, said in a press statement: “We are now able to confirm that the body found in the search in Guatemala is that of missing Catherine Shaw.”
The charity said it does not suspect foul play, and that Shaw’s death could have been linked to her decision to fast while travelling.
Shaw had been traveling in the United States and Mexico before she visited a friend in the Lake Atitlan region in southwestern Guatemala.
Security footage from last Tuesday shows her leaving Eco Hotel in Mayachik on two occasions: at 1:37 a.m. and at 5:23 a.m.
A second video, obtained by MailOnline, shows Shaw lying in a hammock and playing with the dog at her hotel.
Shaw headed towards the lake when she left the second time, and did not return. She was reported missing later the same day.
Locals, expats, law enforcement, and international agencies made a taskforce to hike around the area, and search for the 23-year-old, the Facebook group Finding Catherine Shaw wrote.
It also said Guatemalan tourists found the puppy that Shaw had taken with her alive on Friday. The search crew then employed drones to scour the area where the dog was found near a volcano called Indian Nose.
“We are utilizing drone technology and expert mapping technology to pin point the location that Catherine’s puppy was seen to better try and find her,” the post said.
The Lucie Blackman Trust said Shaw’s parents, Ann and Tarquin, were grateful for the support they had receive while looking for their daughter.
“Thank you seems insufficient but it is very heartfelt, so thank you,” they said in a statement.
Police opened a criminal investigation into Shaw’s death, Reuters reported.
The charity criticized people on social media whom it said are circulating photos of Shaw’s dead body.
The trust said it does not suspect foul play. The charity’s chief executive, Matthew Searle, suggested that Shaw had been fasting, and could have died from lack of sustenance.
He said: “She was very much a nature lover and adored sunrises, so it seems quite conceivable that she went up tp 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 wounds to her body.”
Her parents added: “Catherine just loved mountains and sunrises. She died doing what she loved.”