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  1. ITV Report

Briton Catherine Shaw found dead in Guatemala died of traumatic brain injury, post-mortem finds

The examination said Catherine Shaw's body showed signs of trauma but no apparent gunshot or stab wounds Photo: Lucie Blackman Trust/PA

An English tourist whose body was found near a Guatemala highland lake popular with travellers died of haemorrhaging resulting from a traumatic brain injury, according to a post-mortem report.

In a statement, the National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Guatemala also said 23-year-old Catherine Shaw had died four to six days earlier.

Earlier on Tuesday, a doctor performing the examination said the body showed signs of trauma but no apparent gunshot or stab wounds.

“In the preliminary findings, there are no wounds from bullets or sharp weapons,” Miguel Angel Samayoa told the Associated Press. “There are blows to the body.”

Neither Dr Samayoa nor the institute said what might have caused the trauma.

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Ms Shaw, from Witney, Oxfordshire, was last seen before dawn on Thursday in the town of San Juan La Laguna, on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

Police announced on Monday that her body had been found unclothed and in a state of decomposition in undergrowth near a mountain overlook.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been assisting Ms Shaw’s family, issued a statement urging people not to speculate about her death and saying it may have been a “tragic accident” not involving foul play.

It added that Ms Shaw had been fasting for days before her disappearance and “disposing of possessions, including clothing”.

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

“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,” the statement added, cautioning that not all the facts were known and nothing could be ruled out.

“Catherine just loved mountains and sunrises,” the family was quoted as saying. “She died doing what she loved.”

The British Embassy confirmed that her father, Tarquin Shaw, had identified the body in Guatemala on Tuesday, and said it was working with local authorities and assisting the family.