Catherine Shaw: Yoga teacher's fall from mountain an 'accident'

  • Published
Ms ShawImage source, Shaw family
Image caption,
Catherine Shaw left her accommodation in Guatemala in the early hours of 5 March

A woman who went missing in Guatemala died after she fell from a mountain trail, a court has heard.

Catherine Shaw, 23, from Long Hanborough, near Witney, Oxfordshire, was reported missing after leaving her hotel on 5 March.

An inquest heard she had removed her clothes and was hiking alone to view the sunrise when she accidentally fell and died from multiple injuries.

Her body was found near the top of a hiking trail six days later.

Coroner Darren Salter said Ms Shaw had been dead for "four to six days" before her body was found, and ruled her death an accident.

He added there was "no evidence of any suspicious circumstances or third party involvement" in the yoga teacher's death.

Toxicology tests showed no drugs or alcohol were in her system.

Image caption,
Ms Shaw's body was found on a mountain near Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

The court heard Ms Shaw was a "vivacious, friendly, kind and adventurous person who made friends all over the world".

Mr Salter said Ms Shaw had "removed her clothes" as she walked up the mountain, and her father Tarquin told the court his daughter was "comfortable in her own skin".

He added she had previously travelled to places "where nudity was accepted".

A family statement added Ms Shaw "loved mountains, waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets".

"She liked to follow her own path rather than stick with convention," it added.

The court heard after she had explored Lake Atitlan and the surrounding volcanic area, she planned to go to Colombia and then South America.

Mr Salter said there was "adequate evidence" to conclude the inquest after reviewing documents from authorities in Guatemala, and having further post-mortem tests carried out in Britain.

Image source, Finding Catherine Shaw
Image caption,
Guatemalan police, locals, and British people were among the three search parties
Image source, PA
Image caption,
Her body was found by a search team about 60ft (18m) from the top of the Indian Nose hiking trail

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