Catherine Shaw: Body found in search for backpacker

Catherine Shaw

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

Authorities in Guatemala launched a search for her, and her body has now been found. 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.

Her parents, Ann and Tarquin, issued an appeal for information through the Lucie Blackman Trust, a charity that supports families with a loved one missing, murdered or in crisis overseas.

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

The Lucie Blackman Trust said Shaw had left the Eco Hotel in Mayachik, near San Pedro and San Juan, on 5 March at 1.37am, but then returned at 3.19am.

We know that Catherine had been fasting for the days leading to her disappearance and that she had been disposing of possessions, including clothing.

It has also been confirmed that she did not have a tattoo on her ribs.

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Ms Shaw has been travelling since September and has been to Mexico and California.

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 friend, Jess Elizabeth, told The Tab: "She's a beautiful soul, loves nature, outdoors, looking after the planet, interested in permaculture, yoga, travelling".

In a video released by the trust, Catherine's parents have urged her daughter to get in contact with the family as they need to know she is happy and well.

Her father, who has travelled to Guatemala to join the search, also issued a heartbreaking statement, saying: "Your friends, your family are all really anxious about you".

Facebook posts analysing photographs of poor Catherine's body are totally unacceptable.

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