Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Charity believes Catherine's death 'was tragic accident'

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

A charity believes that foul play was probably not involved and that Catherine Shaw, from Witney in Oxfordshire, died in a tragic accident.

Following the discovery of the 23-year-old British traveller's body, her family have spoken to thank those who helped them over the last week. Parents Ann and Tarquin gave thanks for an international effort from friends of Catherine, local volunteer searchers, search and rescue teams and authorities in the area plus global offers of support.

We wish it to be known how grateful our family are for the huge response locally and across the world in our search for Catherine and for the vast amount of messages of support. Thank you seems insufficient but it is very heartfelt, so thank you.

Catherine just loved mountains and sunrises. She died doing what she loved. We want to say how hugely indebted we are to The Lucie Blackman Trust, who have done everything possible. Their support has been fantastic throughout this tragic episode since the very first phone call.

– Catherine's family

The Lucie Blackman Trust has hit out at speculation over Catherine's death. They say assumptions of murder and rape, as well as photographs of Catherine’s body, have appeared following the discovery. The Trust says it has been working to remove some of this content and Chief Executive Matthew Searle MBE asked for compassion:

Whilst we do not know the full facts yet this kind of speculation is incredibly unhelpful, distressing and unnecessary. 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. Whilst there will always be discussion and comment, the conclusions being reached in this case are based on scant evidence and quite possibly ill informed. We ask that all such speculation ceases and that people wait for official enquiries to conclude.

We know that Catherine had been fasting for the days leading to her disappearance and that she had been disposing of possessions, including clothing. 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. Whilst of course at this stage we do not know the full facts, and cannot rule anything out until we do, it is wrong to assume and of course confirm that she was raped and murdered by a mystery assailant when such facts are not evident. Facebook posts analysing photographs of poor Catherine’s body are totally unacceptable.

– Lucie Blackman Trust