Missing US Woman in Bocas del Toro, Panama Found Dead on Trail

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By Wendy Anders

A search for a missing young woman from the U.S. in Panama ended Sunday when police found her body on a hiking trail near Bocas del Toro, an archipelago along Panama’s northern Caribbean coast.

No information has been forthcoming regarding the possible cause of her death, said local media.

Friends and family posted messages on social media late Thursday, February 2 after Catherine Johannet never returned from a day-trip she undertook by herself from Isla Colón to Bastimento Island to visit Red Frog Beach, according to reports in Newsroom Panama.

She left her belongings in a hostel where she had been staying on Isla Colón, said reports.

By Sunday, February 5, when friends and family still had no word, they began to offer monetary compensation through posts on social media for information to aid in finding Johannet.

Agents from the Civil Protection Agency (Sinaproc), the National Police, the Bocas del Toro Fire Department, as well as volunteers joined in the search on Sunday. José Donderis, head of Sinaproc, said her body was found just hours after the search began on a hiking trail to Bastimento Island, as reported in Mexico’s digital outlet Excelsior.

Johannet had traveled widely, had taught at Ivyprep in Hanoi, Vietnam, and had interned in various programs in the United States, and Portugal, said Newsroom Panama.

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