Body found in ravine in search for British scientist missing on Greek island

The body of a British astrophysicist who went missing on a Greek island was found at the bottom of a ravine on Wednesday.

Dr Natalie Christopher, 35, disappeared on Monday on the Aegean island of Ikaria, with her boyfriend saying she had gone for a run.

Her body was found by a volunteer firefighter in a 65ft-deep ravine about a mile from the hotel where she and her partner had been staying.

Asked whether the body had fallen into the ravine or been pushed, Theodoros Chronopoulos, a Greek police spokesman, said it was too early to tell.

Dr Christopher is a keen runner, climber and mountain racer

“We have to await the report from the coroner, which will take two to three days, in order to have the answers. This is crucial. At this point we don’t know how she died,” he told The Telegraph.

One of the voluteers who took part in the search, Vaggelis Kriaras, told Greece’s Open TV that Dr Christopher may have fallen in her attempt to climb, or descend, a cliff-face.

"Unfortunately it appears she caught onto a rock which came away and crushed her," he said.

Oxford-educated Dr Christopher, a keen runner, rock climber and hiker, was spending a few days on Ikaria with her boyfriend.

Natalie Christopher was last seen on Monday on the Aegean island of Ikaria

He said that when he woke on Monday morning, she was not in the hotel.

He called her on her mobile phone and she told him she was running.

He became worried a few hours later when she did not return and called again, but she did not answer.

The couple, who live in Cyprus, were staying in the town of Kerame, on the north coast of Ikaria.

Police are investigating spots of blood that were found on bed sheets in the hotel room where the couple were staying.

The linen has been sent to a laboratory in Athens for testing.

Her boyfriend reportedly told police that the blood was from a nosebleed that Dr Christopher suffered the night before her disappearance.

Dr Christopher, who grew up in London, has a Masters in physics from Durham University and did her PhD at Linacre College, Oxford.

"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.

Her disappearance follows the rape and murder last month of an American scientist who went for a jog on Crete.

Suzanne Eaton’s body was found dumped inside a Second World War bunker a week after she went missing.

A 27-year-old local man has allegedly confessed to the murder of the 60-year-old molecular biologist, who had been attending a conference on Crete.

She worked for the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University in Germany.

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