A local forensic examiner has ruled that Natalie Christopher’s death on the Greek island of Ikaria was instant after falling from up high earlier this week.
(Click here for an update to the story)
Greek forensic pathologist Nikos Karakoukis told reporters on Thursday that a bloodstain pattern analysis at the scene of Natalie’s death was consistent with death after falling.
“An external inspection of the corpse and autopsy at the scene point to a fall from a higher position,” Karakoukis said.
'Further investigation will continue at the morgue in Athens and probably with more lab tests,' the forensic pathologist said
Natalie, a British Cypriot scientist, went missing while on vacation to the Greek islands with her Cypriot boyfriend, who notified police Monday noon around 12:40pm of his girlfriend’s disappearance. The couple was scheduled to fly back to Cyprus later that afternoon.
Following a search over two days and two nights, her body was discovered underneath a rock in a secluded ravine near the couple’s hotel.
Media had speculated that Natalie, an outdoorswoman and avid climber, had attempted to ascend or descend a steep rock within the gorge and a piece of rock might have detached during the attempt, falling on top of her and crushing her to death.
The forensic pathologist, who adopted the view of death after falling, spoke of additional pieces of information at the scene, including a single bloodstain that suggested Natalie died instantly upon hitting the ground surface after the fall.
Additional points he made to reporters included a lack of satellite stains, meaning no smaller bloodstains were visible that could have originated from a parent stain as a result of blood impacting the surface.
Earlier reports also said Natalie’s mobile phone had a broken screen. But Karakoukis also said that further exams would need to take place.
“Further investigation will continue at the morgue in Athens and probably with more lab tests,” the forensic pathologist added.
Natalie’s body was expected to be flown to Athens on Thursday, although there was no official confirmation. The autopsy at the scene, which always must take place as soon as possible following the discovery of a human body, was reportedly completed.