Englishwoman found dead near Guatemala's Lake Atitlan

Backpacker disappears from hotel in the middle night

A body has been found in the search for Catherine Shaw, 23, the British backpacker who went missing in Guatemala last week, the Lucie Blackman Trust has announced.

Police Spokesman Pablo Castillo said the body of Catherine Shaw, 23, of Witney, England, was discovered at a mountain overlook called Nariz del Indio, or Indian Nose.

And her parents said in a statement: "She has always been really good about keeping in touch and informing us of her whereabouts and activities.

Our thoughts are with Catherine's family, who we will continue to support as they need", said the Lucie Blackman Trust, who were helping Catherine's family search for her. Prior to checking into the hotel, she had been staying in a campervan in the San Pedro, Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala with a friend.

"The case will now be handed over to the team that will carry out the criminal investigation, so as to find out what happened".

It added: "Formal identification has not taken place but the body is believed to be Catherine". The family deserve respect and time to come to terms with their tragic loss - not to have Catherine's last hours dissected in such a graphic manner all over social media.

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The charity said Catherine had left the Eco Hotel in Mayachik, near San Pedro and San Juan, on March 5 at 1.37am, returning at 3.19am then leaving again at 5.23am in the direction of the lake with a puppy.

A Foreign Office confirmed it is supporting the family and is "in contact with the local authorities as they search for her".

A hand drum, known as a hang, previously reported to be in Shaw's possession, was left behind and has been located, the trust added.

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.

Catherine Shaw had been travelling through the US, Mexico and central America since September 2018.

The trust has received many sightings of female travellers matching Ms Shaw's description, and it has become clear that there are at least three travellers similar to her hiking in the area.

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