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

Catherine Shaw went missing in Guatemala on March 5

Backpacker disappears from hotel in the middle night

Fears were growing last night for a young British woman who has been missing for almost a week in Guatemala.

An English tourist has been found dead almost a week after she went missing near a Guatemala highland lake popular with travelers, authorities in the Central American nation said Monday.

Formal identification has not taken place but Ms Shaw's family have been informed of the find.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which is supporting Ms Shaw's family, said on Monday evening that a body had been found which is believed to be Ms Shaw's.

"We are extremely anxious about Catherine and we hope she is found as soon as possible".

Her father added: 'Please come home, sweetheart'.

Foreign Office advice cautions visitors that Guatemala has "one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America", warning to "take care in all parts of the country".

According to The Telegraph, she was last seen leaving the Eco Hotel in Mayachik, shortly before 5.30am on Tuesday, carrying a stray puppy.

"She has always been really good about keeping in touch and informing us of her whereabouts and activities". Lake Atitlan is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, but San Pedro itself is packed with a strip of lively bars known as the "Gringo Trail".

Shaw had been travelling since September a year ago and previously visited Mexico and California.

Ms Shaw had been travelling in the central American country for two weeks with a friend.

Trust chief executive Matthew Searle said speculation that she was raped and murdered was "incredibly unhelpful, distressing and unnecessary". Shaw's friend, Jess Elizabeth, wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Shaw that the backpacker had "no belongings with her, passport, money or mobile phone - they were left at the hostel".

The organization earlier tweeted that a body had been found in the search for Shaw, but the body had not yet been positively identified. It was thought she was going to watch the sunrise.

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