British astrophysicist died ‘instantly from fall’ on Greek island
he British scientist found dead at the bottom of a ravine on a Greek island died instantly from a fall, a Greek coroner said on Thursday.
Natalie Christopher, 34, was discovered on Wednesday morning on the Greek island of Ikaria, which she was visiting on holiday.
Miss Christopher, an astrophysicist and avid trail runner who lived in Cyprus, had set off for a run from their hotel, her boyfriend said. The area has trails along steep cliffs and ravines, and Miss Christopher was found at the bottom of a 65-foot ravine.
Vangelis Kriaras, a volunteer, told local TV that rescue workers had come close the site “at least twice before”, but because of its inaccessibility had failed to spot her.
It was only when one volunteer walked through the gorge that her body was discovered, hidden beneath a boulder.
Natalie Christopher, a British scientist based in Cyprus
Nikos Karakoukis, a Greek coroner who travelled to the island from Athens, said evidence from an initial assessment of the area where Miss Christopher’s body was found was “consistent with a fall from a height.”
He said she had suffered a head injury and died instantly. Her body was on Thursday being transported to a morgue in the Greek capital, Athens.
Miss Christopher’s disappearance led to a two-day manhunt across the island.
Greek media reported that traces of blood had been found in the hotel room she shared with her Cypriot partner, but he explained that she had suffered a nose bleed.
The forensic police examined the hotel as well as her partner’s telephone.
Miss Christopher was well known in Cyprus as an active sportswoman and for her involvement in several social media projects, including one – “Cyprus Girls Can” – which aims to break down barriers between Greek and Turkish youngsters on the divided island.
Natalie Christopher, whose body was found at the bottom of a ravine on Wednesday
President Nicos Anastasiades was among those who expressed sorrow, calling her death “an unjust loss of a young scientist and active citizen who had her whole life ahead of her and much to give”.
The incident comes a month after the murder of US molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton on Crete.
The 59-year-old had been attending a conference near the city of Chania and gone out on July 2 without taking her mobile phone, the police said.
Her body was found six days later in an abandoned World War II bunker.
A 27-year-old farmer confessed to raping and killing Eaton, who had worked for the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University.
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