Columbia Grad Found Dead in Panama Was Strangled With Her Own Bathing Suit: Report
A New York woman who was found dead on a remote Panama hiking trail likely met a violent end.
A New York woman whose body was discovered on an island off Panama over the weekend likely met a violent end.
According to local reports out of the Central American country, an initial autopsy has indicated 23-year-old Catherine Johannet died of strangulation.
Shockingly, the 2015 Columbia University grad was reportedly strangled with her own bathing suit.
Johannet was known to friends and family as a young globetrotter who'd already visited six continents. In her final trip, she was staying in a hostel on Colon Island and went to the island of Bastimentos to experience its pristine beaches on a day trip when she disappeared.
Three days after her disappearance, she was found on Bastimentos.
FBI agents have since teamed with Panamanian investigators for a series of raids as part of a probe into the slaying. Final autopsy results are pending.
No arrests have been made as Panamanian authorities and the FBI continue their investigation. The U.S. Embassy has confirmed her death but offered no additional details.
"Out of respect for the family’s privacy at this difficult time, we have no further public comment," the embassy said in a statement. "We will continue to work closely with Panamanian government officials and provide all possible assistance to the grieving family."
The family says there will be a memorial service held at the Scarsdale Congregational Church Saturday at 11 a.m. outside New York City.
In the meantime, Johannes' family members and loved ones posted warm tributes to Facebook.
Her sister Laura offered warm remembrances of the young traveler, a Westchester County native.
"My family is thinking of all our beautiful memories with our laughing, adventurous, warm little girl," she said. "She was always there to listen to you and just enjoy life with her loved ones."
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