Catherine Shaw died after ‘traumatic brain injury’, autopsy finds

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Catherine Shaw died after 'traumatic brain injury', autopsy finds
Catherine Shaw died after 'traumatic brain injury', autopsy finds

THE Witney backbacker Catherine Shaw died as a result of a traumatic brain injury, a post mortem has found.

The National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Guatemala has released its initial report into the death.

It found the 23-year-old suffered haemorrhaging resulting from a traumatic brain injury and died four to six days earlier.

A doctor performing the examination said the body showed signs of trauma but no apparent gunshot or stab wounds.

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

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“There are blows to the body.”

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

Ms Shaw 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.

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It added that Ms Shaw had been fasting for days before her disappearance and “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,” the statement added, cautioning that not all the facts were known and nothing could be ruled out.

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“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.

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