Body of Missing UK Astrophysicist Found on Greek Island
WorldWeb Staff

Greek search crews have found the body of a British scientist who went missing while on holiday on the Aegean island of Ikaria in a ravine near where she had been staying, authorities said Wednesday.

Police said the body of Cyprus-based astrophysicist Natalie Christopher, 34, was found in a 20-meter (65-foot) deep ravine. Christopher had been reported missing on Monday by her Cypriot partner with whom she was vacationing after she went for a morning run.

The cause of death was not immediately clear and authorities planned an autopsy.

Police, firefighters, volunteers and the coast guard had been scouring the area where Christopher had been staying during her vacation, which has paths along ravines and steep seaside cliffs. A specialized police unit with geolocation equipment was sent to the island to help in the search.

Cypriot authorities said they were in close contact with Greek search crews and the woman’s family.

“I express the sincere condolences of the Cypriot state and of myself to the family and friends of Natalie Christopher,” Cypriot Justice and Public Order Minister George Savvides said after being informed that the body had been identified.

Authorities block a road
Authorities block a road near the location where police said the body of Cyprus-based astrophysicist Natalie Christopher, 34, was found in a 20-meter-deep ravine, in Faros village on the Greek island of Ikaria, on August 7, 2019. (Nikos Litsardis/ via AP)

Her Disappearance

Christopher was visiting the island with her partner from their home in Cyprus but wasn’t in their accommodation when her partner woke up on Monday morning.

He spoke to her by telephone and Christopher told him she’d gone out for a run, CNN affiliate CNN Greece reported. But when Christopher hadn’t returned after several hours and had stopped answering her phone, her partner reported her missing.

Police, fire vehicles and a helicopter have all been mobilized to search for Christopher, Greek police said.

Christopher’s sister has appealed for anyone with information to assist in the search, but urged people not to drain her battery by calling her.

On Sunday, hours before she went missing, Christopher posted images on Facebook of her holiday on the island.

“Beautiful spot for swimming and deep water solo … had so much fun here today!” she wrote.

The island has a population of around 10,000 and is a popular destination for tourists.

Similar Incident

Christopher’s disappearance comes only a month after an American scientist, Suzanne Eaton’s body was found in an abandoned Nazi bunker on Crete, 9News reported.

The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics confirmed her death, saying her body was recovered on the evening of July 8.

According to ABC News, her running shoes were missing, leading colleagues to suspect that she was jogging.

Eaton was also a professor at the Biotechnology Center of the Technical University of Dresden in Germany.

The Associated Press, The CNN Wire and Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.