Natalie Christopher: Missing British scientist ‘died instantly after fall from height’

Physicist found with head injury at bottom of ravine

Peter Stubley
Friday 09 August 2019 19:23 BST
Missing British scientist Natalie Christopher 'found dead' on Greek island of Ikaria

A British scientist who disappeared while on holiday on the Greek island of Ikaria died instantly after falling into 65ft deep ravine, a coroner said.

Natalie Christopher, 35, was reported missing by her 38-year-old Cypriot partner on Monday after she failed to return from her morning run.

Her body was found two days later after a major search operation involving police, the fire brigade and a helicopter.

Coroner Nikos Karakoukis, who travelled to the island from Athens to examine the scene, said Ms Christopher suffered a serious head injury and died instantly.

“After the site inspection, the whole situation is consistent with a fall from a height,” he told reporters.

The body will be transported to a morgue in the Greek capital for a postmortem and toxicological tests to determine the exact cause of death.

Police said they would continue to investigate the case while they awaited the results of the examination.

Ms Christopher was a keen athlete and had posted pictures on Facebook of a run she completed on Sunday near Evdilos, less than 2km from her accommodation and close to where her body was found.

The Oxford-trained physicist worked as a researcher with the European University Cyprus and was well known for her peace activism and campaigns for the greater representation of women in scientific fields.

“I was saddened to hear of the tragic outcome of the investigations and the fate of Natalie Christopher,” said the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.

“A young scientist and active citizen who lost all her life and much to give was unjustly lost. I extend my sincere condolences to the family and her relatives.”

Ms Christopher is the second female scientist to have gone missing after going for a run on a Greek island this summer.

Suzanne Eaton, an American 59-year-old molecular biologist, disappeared in Crete on 2 July while attending a conference.

Her body was found six days later in a Second World War military bunker used during the Nazi occupation of Crete. A 27 year-old Greek man has confessed to her murder, according to police.

Additional reporting by AP

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