Body of Briton found dead in Greece to undergo autopsy in Athens

Photo: AFP

The body of a British scientist found dead in a ravine on the Greek island of Ikaria is to be transferred Thursday to Athens for an autopsy, police said.

Police performed an initial autopsy at the site where the body of Nicosia-based astrophysicist Natalie Christopher was found on Wednesday, a police spokesman told AFP.

"Her remains will be transferred during the day Thursday to Athens for an autopsy" by a forensic pathologist, he added.

Relatives are currently on Ikaria, the police spokesman said.

According to Greek and Cypriot media, Christopher, 35, and her partner had arrived on the Aegean island on Saturday and were due to leave on Monday. She left their hotel for a jog on Monday morning but never returned, her partner told police.

Local authorities, volunteers and a police team from Athens searched for two days before a firefighter spotted the body lying in the ravine, crushed by a rock around 1.5 kilometres (a mile) from the couple's hotel.

Greek media reports said traces of blood had been found in their hotel room.

Her partner explained that Christopher had suffered a nose bleed, according to media reports.

The forensic police examined the hotel as well as her partner's telephone, media said.

Greek police search for missing British scientist

Greek police have launched a large-scale search for a 35-year-old British scientist who went missing on the Aegean island of Ikaria, officials said on Wednesday.

Nicosia-based astrophysicist Natalie Christopher, who had been on holiday with her partner, reportedly failed to return from a run on Monday.

"A police helicopter carrying officers and special equipment to locate missing persons left Athens on Tuesday night," a spokeswoman for the Greek police told AFP.

They joined Ikaria port patrols, firefighters and volunteers already combing areas for the scientist, Northern Aegean police said in a statement.

According to Greek and Cypriot media, Christopher and her 38-year-old partner had arrived on Ikaria on Saturday and stayed near the port of Agios Kirykos. She left their hotel for a jog on Monday morning but never returned, her partner told media.

Police have opened a preliminary investigation into the circumstances of her disappearance.

The incident comes three weeks after the murder of US molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton on the Greek island of Crete.

The 59-year-old had been attending a conference near the city of Chania and gone out on July 2 without taking her mobile phone, the police said.

Her body was only found six days later in an abandoned World War II bunker near the town of Hania.

A 27-year-old farmer confessed to raping and killing Eaton, who had worked for the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University.

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