British woman missing in Guatemala left hotel with puppy later found alone

A British woman missing in Guatemala left her hotel with a puppy which was later found alone.

Catherine Shaw, 23, from Witney, Oxfordshire, has been travelling since September last year and was reported missing on March 5.

She had been staying in the Lake Atitlan area of the central American country and was last seen by a friend the previous night.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which is supporting Ms Shaw’s family, said she 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.

A hand drum, known as a hang, previously reported to be in Ms Shaw’s possession, was left behind and has been located, and she did not have a guitar with her when she left, the trust added.

It has also been confirmed that she did not have a tattoo on her ribs.

Three search teams have been active around the location but nothing has been found.

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

The trust has received many sightings of female travellers matching Ms Shaw’s description, and it has become clear that there are at least three travellers similar to her hiking in the area.

The charity has identified two of them already and is working on further leads.

These travellers are being regularly sighted and the trust’s chief executive, Matthew Searle, has urged them to get in touch, saying: “There are clearly a number of female travellers in the area that match or are similar to Catherine in appearance.

“We would like to speak to any of these travellers to both rule them out and to ask if they have seen or spoken to Catherine on their travels.

“If anyone knows of friends in the area that may be mistaken for Catherine, please let us know.”

In a video released by the trust, Ms Shaw’s mother urged her to get in touch as they need to know she is happy and well, while her father described his daughter as about 5ft 7in and of slim build.

Her father, who has travelled to Guatemala to join the search, added: “Your friends, your family are all really worried about you. Please come home, sweetheart.”

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