The body of a missing British astrophysicist has been discovered at the bottom of a ravine, Greek media has reported.
Dr Natalie Christopher, 34, vanished on Monday morning after her boyfriend said she went for a morning jog on the Aegean island of Ikaria.
According to the national broadcaster Ant1 News, her body was discovered by a volunteer firefighter today.
She was lying half-a-mile from the hotel in the village of Kerame where she and her 38-year-old boyfriend had been staying.
Specialist murder detectives earlier travelled to Ikaria to take over the case, according to Greek media.
The detectives regularly deal with disappearances and their presence on the island doesn’t necessarily mean they suspect a murder, police sources have said.
Greek media had previously reported the police were investigating blood stains found on a bedroom pillow. Dr Christopher’s partner attributed these to a nose bleed she’d had the night before her disappearance, Skai reported.
Meanwhile the hotel maid claimed she’d heard voices the night before Dr Christopher went missing and thought the couple might have slept in separate beds.
Dr Natalie Christopher, 34, was discovered half-a-mile from her hotel at the bottom of a ravine, Greek media reported today
The fitness fanatic’s phone gave out signals yesterday, 24 hours after she was first reported missing, according to local media
Search teams scour the rocky landscape of the Aegean island today close to where Dr Christopher’s body was found
Dr Christopher was a keen runner and her boyfriend says she went out for a jog on the Aegean island of Ikaria on Monday morning – her body was found half-a-mile from her hotel in Kerame where the search was focused
The cause of death of the Nicosia-based academic had not yet been determined.
Friends of Dr Christopher were too distraught to speak. Members of a Cyprus running club called and emailed each other after the report emerged.
Two members of the Cyprus Trail Runners, including her close friend Carmen Macheriou, had flown to the island of Ikaria to join in the search.
Other volunteers also flew from Cyprus to join police and fire fighters engaged in the search.
Police on the island have yet to officially confirm her body was found at the bottom of a ravine.
Her boyfriend told local media she had gone out for a morning jog when he woke on Monday. He called her once and she picked up, but a few hours later he got no response and police were summoned.
Her sister Jena Christopher wrote on Facebook yesterday: ‘If you have her phone number please DO NOT call her. As this will drain the battery and the police are trying to use her phone to find her location.’
Rescuers head through the shrubbery on the rocky landscape of Ikaria as they looked for Dr Christopher
At around 9pm on the eve of her disappearance she posted photos from a trip to Seychelles Beach where she spoke of her interest in climbing
It is understood police had considered shutting down a phone mast on the neighbouring island of Fournoi yesterday as they sought a clear signal from the Oxford-educated physicist’s phone.
Fire crews, coastguard, residents and even a naval helicopter with thermal imaging were drafted in during the colossal effort to find Dr Christopher.
Her boyfriend told Protothema News yesterday that she told him that she was jogging up a hill in a rocky part of the island, and promised that she would be careful.
‘I can’t go fast, I’ll be back slowly, don’t worry,’ he claims she told him.
But when she hadn’t returned by 11am he got worried and informed the hotel owner who then called the police.
The hotelier told Greek papers he had put Dr Christopher’s boyfriend up after police closed off the couple’s hotel room.
Before arriving on the island of Ikaria Dr Christopher posted a photo of her bathing in waters at Lemonakia Beach on the neighbouring island of Samos
‘He is a very good lad, he’s from Cyprus. He’s lost it, he has panicked, he cannot believe it,’ the man told Greek media yesterday.
He described Dr Christopher and her partner as ‘a nice little couple’ and said there had been no signs of strife between the pair.
In her last Facebook post on Sunday at around 9pm, Dr Christopher shared pictures from a day trip at Seychelles Beach, about an hour’s drive of where she had been staying.
She wrote: ‘Beautiful spot for swimming and deep water solo . . . had so much fun here today! Realised later there are bolted routes here too, would love to come back again to climb. Any takers?’
The couple were scheduled to head home to Cyprus, where they both work, on the day of her disappearance.
Dr Natalie Christopher, 34, who was born in London, went missing on the Greek island of Ikaria while out jogging on Monday morning
Her boyfriend told local press he had called her to see where she was when he woke up and she had told him: ‘I can’t go fast, I’ll be back slowly, don’t worry’
The Greek island of Ikaria (pictured) is located 10 nautical miles south west of Samos and is named after the Greek legend of Icarus
Dr Christopher taking part in a running competition – she was extremely active and ran sports camps for Cypriot girls
Dr Christopher worked as a researcher with the European University Cyprus in Nicosia.
Dr Christopher had spoken of a desire to begin teaching astronomy, visiting schools across Cyprus to inspire the next generation.
She also launched the Cyprus Girls Can campaign to get women and girls, of all ages and abilities involved in sport, a campaign that was shortlisted for the EU Sport Award.
Her online profile says: ‘Asides from studying the beautiful Universe we live in, she loves running. In fact, she doesn’t think she could survive without running!
‘She started running thanks to her Sports Teacher at Secondary School in Nicosia when she was 12. It changed her life.
‘Natalie has many wonderful memories of representing the track teams both at Durham University and the University of Oxford during her studies, in the 100m, 200m and 100m hurdles.
‘A highlight was representing Oxford in the Varsity matches against Cambridge.’
Last month an American scientist called Suzanne Eaton was raped and murdered in Crete, which a local man has confessed to.