THERE are fears for a British backpacker, 23, who went missing in the middle of the night from a Guatemala hotel while carrying a “musical instrument”.
Catherine Shaw’s parents are “desperately worried”, saying that her disappearance is unusual and is causing them great concern.
She was last seen on March 4 and had been staying in the San Pedro, Lake Atitlan area of the central American country with a friend.
All of her belongings were left behind, said the Lucie Blackman Trust, which supports British nationals in crisis overseas.
Blonde Catherine, from Witney, Oxfordshire, who has been travelling since September last year and has previously visited Mexico and California, was reported missing on March 5.
Lucie Blackman Trust chief executive Matthew Searle told the Sun Online that Catherine went missing overnight.
He added: “She was staying in a camper van with a friend who raised the alarm when she woke in the morning, and saw she wasn’t there.
“Her belongings were all left in the van.”
In a statement released through the trust, which is supporting the Shaw family, her parents said they have been “desperately worried” since her disappearance.
They said: “She has always been really good about keeping in touch and informing us of her whereabouts and activities.
“So this is unusual behaviour which gives us great concern for her safety. Please help us to find her.”
She was last seen at the Mayachik eco-hotel.
Catherine left hotel with a musical instrument
Tonight, a spokesman for the hotel said Catherine had been recorded on CCTV leaving at nearly 2am on March 5 while carrying a “musical instrument”.
He added: “We regret the disappearance of Catherine Shaw and can confirm she checked into the Eco Hotel Mayachik with her friend Elena Consolini on Sunday March 3 at 1.37pm.
“Catherine left the hotel on Tuesday March 5 in the early hours of the morning, at 1.37am to be exact, taking with her a musical instrument.
“This information was taken from our CCTV cameras.”
He confirmed that her belongings had been left behind, adding: “Not knowing anything about Catherine, Elena returned to our hotel on Thursday afternoon asking after her and that was when Catherine’s belongings were handed to her.
“We are extremely worried about Catherine and we hope she is found as soon as possible.”
She has always been really good about keeping in touch and informing us of her whereabouts and activities.
In a video, her mother urged her daughter to get in touch as they need to know she is happy and well, while her father described her as of “slim build, and about 5ft 7in tall”.
He added: “Your friends, your family are all really worried about you, please come home sweetheart.”
One of Catherine’s worried friends, Paco Patchouli, posted on Facebook yesterday: “HELP! Friends in Guatemala. My friend Catherine Shaw has been missing since last Monday in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
“She has no belongings with her, passport, money or mobile phone.
“Please if you know anyone who is at the moment in Guatemala, please share [Catherine’s] photo.”
Paco – whose post has been shared almost 16,000 times on Facebook – said she has “blue eyes, a nose ring, piercing inside her upper lip, and with a double XX scar on the back of her neck.”
Matthew Searle said: “We urge anyone who may have any information, no matter how small, to get in touch as soon as they can. They could hold the key to bringing Catherine home.”
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He also stressed how the “first few days are vitally important” because those who may have seen something could still be in the area.
The trust said members of her family are travelling to San Pedro to join the search this weekend.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the department is supporting the family and that officials are “in contact with the local authorities as they search for her”.
- Anyone with any information should call the Lucie Blackman Trust on +44 (0) 1983 718802, then option 1, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those in Guatemala should contact their local police.