Who Is Catherine Shaw? New Details About The Woman Who Went Missing On A Hike In Guatemala

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Who Is Catherine Shaw? New Details About The Woman Who Went Missing On A Hike In Guatemala

A 23-year-old went missing in Guatemala. Who is Catherine Shaw?

Catherine Shaw went missing in Guatemala on March 4, 2019. After weeks of the searching, her body was found near a volcano in San Juan La Laguna. The British native was 23 years old. 

She had last been seen by friends before going out on a walk but she never returned. British and Guatemalan authorities worked in tandem to discover what had happened to her.

At the time her body was found authorities released a statement saying: “Our diligent searchers have found Catherine Shaw’s body at the top of El Naudiz in San Juan La Laguna. The municipality, police, rescuers and volunteers have been searching the area since 8.30am this morning. We appreciate everyone’s effort and help in bringing resolution to the situation.”

Who is Catherine Shaw and what happened to her? Read on for all the details.

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1. Travel

Catherine Shaw, who is from Witney, in Oxfordshire, had been traveling with friends since September 2018. They had previously visited Mexico and California before going to Guatemala. She and her friends have been backpacking and were staying in San Pedro, Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala at the time she disappeared.

2. Gone

On March 4, Catherine went out alone in the early hours of the day. Her friends said she returned to their lodgings but went out again, taking a puppy with her and walked toward a nearby lake. Around 6 a.m. the following day, some tourists spotted the puppy alone at the pea of Indian Nose, a volcano overlooking Lake Atitlan, San Pedro and San Juan.

Catherine was nowhere to be found.

3. Family fears

Catherine’s family enlisted the help of the Lucie Blackman Trust, an organization that assists with finding British nationals who go missing while abroad. The Trust assisted Shaw’s parents in releasing a video appeal to anyone with knowledge of where Catherine could be.

Her parents said: “She has always been really good about keeping in touch and informing us of her whereabouts and activities. So this is unusual behaviour which gives us great concern for her safety. Please help us to find her.” They added that they were “desperately worried” about her.

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4. Search

The Trust and the British Foreign office coordinated with Guatemalan authorities to begin searching for Catherine. Trust chief executive Matthew Searle said that "We urge anyone who may have any information, no matter how small, to get in touch as soon as they can. They could hold the key to bringing Catherine home.” 

5. Discovery

This week, local authorities found a body who they believed to be Catherine. The Lucie Blackman Trust issued a statement on behalf of her family saying “Formal identification has not taken place but the body is believed to be Catherine. Catherine’s family have been informed. Please respect their privacy at this difficult time.”

Local searchers said that the body was found in an uninhabited wooded area near the overlook called Nariz del Indio. The body showed signs of decomposition at the time it was found. Search crews in the area posted on Facebook to thank everyone involve in the search, reading “Our diligent searchers have found Catherine Shaw’s body at the top of El Naudiz in San Juan La Laguna. The municipality, police, rescuers and volunteers have been searching the area since 8.30am this morning. We appreciate everyone’s effort and help in bringing resolution to the situation.”

6. Foul Play?

Authorities say Catherine had been dead five or six days by the time her body was found. She had visible injuries on her body, but nothing indicative of foul play such as gunshot or knife wounds. Further examination has revealed that she died of hemorrhaging caused by a traumatic brain injury.

The Lucie Blackman trust described her death as a tragic accident in their statement, saying “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.” 

We all extend our deepest sympathies to the Shaw family at this time. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, news, ntertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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