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23-Year-Old Tourist From New York Found Dead on Trail in Panama After Hostel Reports her Missing

The hostel where Catherine Johannet had been staying reported her missing after she didn't return from her day trip to Bastimentos Island

What to Know

  • Catherine Johannet, of Scarsdale, was reported missing by her hostel when she didn't return from a day trip
  • The 23-year-old Scarsdale woman had traveled to Bastimentos Island, a tourist spot known for its beaches, hiking trails and wildlife
  • Her body was found on a wooded trail near the beach; authorities haven't released a cause of death

A 23-year-old tourist from Westchester County has been found dead in Panama, three days after she went missing there, authorities say. 

Panama's Civil Defense said the body of Catherine Johannet, of Scarsdale, was found Sunday on a trail in a wooded area not far from a beach on Bastimentos Island. The U.S. Embassy in Panama City confirmed her death.

No cause of death was provided, and it wasn't clear if authorities had any reason to believe it may have been suspicious. 

Johannet had been staying in a hostel on Colon Island, part of the same archipelago popular for its clear water and coral reefs. 

According to, she went to Bastimentos Island, where she was last seen Thursday. She had been planning a day trip to the island, which is known for its beaches and hiking trails, and the hostel where she had been staying reported her missing when she didn't come back, Lohud said. 

The U.S. Embassy says that Panamanian authorities and the FBI had searched for Johannet throughout the weekend and will continue investigating the case. 

In a Facebook post Sunday, Johannet's sister Laura thanked everyone for their support.

"My family is thinking of all our beautiful memories with our laughing, adventurous, warm little girl," Laura Johannet wrote. "She was always there to listen to you and just enjoy life with her loved ones."

According to her LinkedIn profile, Johannet earned her bachelor's degree from Columbia. She was a teacher in Vietnam from July 2015 until October 2016 and graduated from Edgemont High School in 2011, the profile says.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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