THE body of a British Cypriot scientist who vanished after going for a jog on a Greek island has been found today, it has been reported.
Dr Natalie Christopher, 34, an astrophysicist from London, went missing in Ikaria on Monday morning hours before she and her Cypriot partner were due to fly back to their home in Nicosia.
According to Greece’s national broadcaster Ant1 News, Natalie’s body was found in a ravine by a volunteer firefighter.
Police said they are not willing to make a formal statement until the body is removed from an “inaccessible ravine” and formally identified.
Firemen and other rescue crews are attempting to remove the body from the spot in an area known as Katafygi about 5km from the Brit’s hotel in Kerame – in the north of the island.
Local media also reports that homicide detectives from the Greek capital of Athens have arrived in Ikaria and have taken over the case.
Cops have said that bloodstains found on Natalie’s bedsheets have been sent to a laboratory for DNA testing.
According to reports, the scientist’s boyfriend said the blotches were the result of a nose bleed.
He says he phoned her mobile at 10am when he woke up and found she was not at the hotel, and she answered telling him she was running in a rocky area of the island – although her exact location remains unclear.
However, after she failed to show up, he called the cops at 12 noon,
Mr Chronopoulos said: “Her partner spoke to her when he woke up at 10 AM and discovered she wasn’t there.
“They had a conversation and she said she was out jogging.
“At 12 (noon) when she still hadn’t come back and when he started to worry, he called the police.”
According to local media, the Oxford-educated scientist’s phone was still on, prompting her worried sister to urge people not to call her to save the battery.
However, Mr Chronopoulos said that there has been no signal on Natalie’s phone since 5 pm on Monday.
He said: “The mobile phone company confirmed that her phone was on and that it had picked up a signal until about 5 pm on Monday.
“Since then there hasn’t been a signal.”
Natalie’s partner told Protothema News yesterday that she told him she was jogging up a hill in a rocky part of the island.
He says she promised to be careful.
The unnamed man claims she told him: “I can’t go fast, I’ll be back slowly, don’t worry.”
Policemen, firefighters, coast guard officers, volunteers and a naval helicopter equipped with thermal imaging took part in the search operation.
The owner of the hotel the couple was staying at said police had sealed off the room and that Natalie’s partner was staying with him at his house.
The unnamed man told Greek media: “He is a very good lad, he’s from Cyprus. He’s lost it, he has panicked, he cannot believe it.”
He described the pair as a “nice little couple” and said there were no signs of problems in the relationship.
According to her online profile, Natalie was a researcher for the European University Cyprus in Nicosia and worked to “develop our understanding on the evolution of galaxies by fitting models to data collected from telescopes and satellites.”
She was an extreme sports enthusiast and was the face of ‘Cyprus Girls Can’ – a campaign to encourage local women to exercise.
Her death follows the alleged rape and murder of American scientist Suzanne Eaton in Crete.
A local man has apparently confessed to the crime in which sexual assault appeared to have been the motive.
Dr Eaton was found dead in mid-July at the bottom of a cave which was used by the Nazis to store weapons during World War II near Cania.
The 59-year-old mother-of-two was originally from California and lived in Germany with her husband, a British scientist.
She vanished on July 2 at some point in the afternoon and was due to attend a conference but failed to show up.
Her family believes she went out for a run, as the only things missing from her hotel room were her running shoes.
Coroner Antonis Papadomanolakis told Greece’s ANT1 News that ‘something complicated happened’ during Eaton’s death.