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More details emerge in 'tragic accident' death of British woman Catherine Shaw in Guatemala

Catherine Shaw was reported missing in Guatemala on March 5. Credit: PA

The death of a British woman who went missing in Guatemala likely died in a "tragic accident", a missing persons charity has said.

Following the discovery of a body in the hunt for Catherine Shaw, the Lucie Blackman Trust said it was "conceivable" that the 23-year-old who "loved mountains and sunrises" had hiked up a mountain early in the morning and perhaps "passed out or fallen".

The organisation continued that Ms Shaw, from Witney, Oxfordshire had been fasting for three days prior to her disappearance, and that due to a "lack of intake of food and fluid, may have passed out or fallen, causing the wounds to her body".

The charity put out the statement after online speculation that Ms Shaw had been raped and murdered, something they branded "incredibly unhelpful, distressing and unnecessary" and also "ill-informed".

The charity's belief that Ms Shaw did not die due to foul play was backed up by her parents, Ann and Tarquin said: “Catherine just loved mountains and sunrises.

"She died doing what she loved.”

Catherine Shaw had been staying in the Lake Atitlan area. Credit: AP

At the weekend, a jacket was found belonging to Ms Shaw at what would have been the beginning of her hike up the mountain.

It is believed that she had discarded it after growing warm.

Ms Shaw had been travelling since September last year and was reported missing on March 5.

The 23-year-old had been staying in the Lake Atitlan area of the central American country and was last seen by a friend the previous night.

Formal identification of the body has not taken place, but it is believed to be Ms Shaw's.

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

She then left again for the last time at 5.23am, heading in the direction of the lake.

The trust said that at this point she had a puppy with her but no other possessions.

The puppy was later found alone, shivering at the highest lookout of Indian Nose, a volcano overlooking Lake Atitlan, San Pedro and San Juan between 5am and 6am on Friday morning, the trust said.

The search encountered many challenges including communication issues due to lack of power in the area.