A FUNDRAISING effort to return backpacker Catherine Shaw’s body from Guatemala has nearly reached its target, after more details emerged about her death.

Those closest to Witney’s Catherine Shaw believe she fell after meditating naked and ‘did not suffer’.

Her family said she ‘died doing what she loved’, after she was found on Monday in undergrowth near a mountain overlook in the town of San Juan La Laguna.

READ AGAIN: Appeal to bring body home launched

Nearly £12,000 has been raised to bring the 23-year-old’s body home after the tragic death, as a group of friends and volunteers underlined that they did not suspect any foul play. 

However, well wishers have been urged to continue donating as the final bill for her repatriation is still unknown.

Posting a final statement on behalf of friends and volunteers, friend Sarah Cronin and retired medic Amy Farrow, who is working in Guatemala, explained: “We are still deeply saddened by the death of such a beautiful soul as hers. We were relieved and cried tears of joy when we were told that the rape kit came back negative and there was no evidence of foul play."

Witney Gazette: Picture: Julia Vanessa Utsch/thelightwithin.dePicture: Julia Vanessa Utsch/thelightwithin.de

Ms Farrow and Ms Cronin said hotel surveillance videos suggested Ms Shaw left the hostel for the last time at around 5.30am, with a jacket and her puppy, before leaving the jacket with her jewellery on the Indian Nose hike, seemingly to pick up on the return trip after the sunrise.

She said: “She was fasting for spiritual reasons the week before her death. In regards to rumours Cat was intoxicated, using drugs or working with hallucinogenic flowers, I spent hours watching and re-watching the surveillance. In my professional opinion as a paramedic, she appeared sober. I saw (nothing) to suggest she was intoxicated.”

READ AGAIN: Post-mortem reveals cause of death

She continued: “To an untrained eye her body did look severely ‘beaten’ by the trees and rocks on the way down. In my opinion she died very quickly and did not suffer. We suspect she passed out when she stood up after her meditation session due to the five day fast she was on, lost her footing, and fell.”

The pair concluded: “There is no government cover up. All of us who were there (and) those closest to her agree with and accept the results of her autopsy.

“I spoke with a few friends that said it was normal for her to meditate naked in nature.

"From all the evidence, that is exactly what she did.”

Witney Gazette: Picture: FacebookPicture: Facebook

He confirmed that any leftover money would be used to support families in similar situation and thanked everyone involved for 'their tremendous generosity.'

READ MORE: Family pay tribute and thank Trust

Discussing the fundraising to bring her body home, Matthew Searle, chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust, said: “Whilst the original target has very nearly been reached, we urge people to keep donating if they can.

"Until Catherine is brought home, it is impossible to confirm whether enough money has been raised.

Witney reacts to news of Catherine Shaw

"The cost expectations are only based on estimates, there may be fees, taxes, changes in air fares and more to consider."

He said any leftover money would be used to support families in similar situation and thanked everyone involved for their generosity.