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The hunt for a missing astrophysicist on a Greek island now involves a specialized police unit with geolocation equipment, as authorities on Wednesday sealed off the hotel room where the British-Cypriot woman was staying and blood was reportedly found on a pillow.
Natalie Christopher, 35, an astrophysicist who lives in Cyprus, was reported missing on Monday by her 38-year-old partner after she went on a morning run and did not return. The couple arrived on the Greek island of Ikaria on Saturday for a weekend away at a hotel before planning to return to Cyprus on Monday.
A specialized police unit with geolocating equipment arrived on the island Wednesday by military helicopter, joining the police, the fire department, coast guard, and volunteers in the search for the scientist. A missing person alert has also been issued calling on the public to come forward with any information they might have.
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Christopher’s husband told police he woke up Monday morning and his wife wasn’t there, so he called her phone and she informed him she was out jogging, the Cyprus Mail reported. When Christopher didn’t return to the hotel, her husband tried calling the mobile phone again but there was no response and he reported her missing around 12:40 p.m., according to the news outlet.
Natalie Christopher, who was on the Greek island of Ikaria, failed to return from a run on the island on Monday morning.
Authorities then launched a massive search for the 35-year-old that include a variety of first responders and a helicopter. Greek police have now reportedly sealed off the room where the couple was staying as part of the investigation.
On Tuesday afternoon, police discovered a bloody tissue in the bathroom at the hotel room the couple was staying and then discovered three bloodstains on a pillow the 35-year-old had been using, Greek news outlet Skai reported. The woman’s husband told police his wife had a bloody nose the night before, according to the news outlet.
Hotel owner Theodoris Theodorakis was quoted in local media as describing the droplets as “typical of a nosebleed,” but police said the linen had also been sent to a laboratory for DNA testing, according to Sky News.
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Local media reports also said the missing woman’s phone was still on and picked up by a cell tower located on an island opposite Ikaria, but authorities believe it was due to interference. Greek media said authorities were considering switching off the tower in order to get a clearer idea of the location of the phone.
Suspect arrested in murder of American scientist in Greece
Authorities say the 27-year-old son of a priest confessed to attacking Suzanne Eaton and leaving her in an abandoned World War II bunker on Crete.
Reports of the missing phone still being on prompted Christopher’s sister to ask people not to call her to preserve the battery.
“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,” Jena Christopher said on Facebook.
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Christopher’s Facebook account indicates she is active in hiking, running, and mountain racing. An Oxford graduate, she is a researcher at the European University Cyprus. The area of Ikaria where Christopher was reportedly running has paths along steep sea cliffs. Authorities have said they are keeping all lines of inquiry open.
Greek coroner says dead woman believed to be American scientist was victim of ‘criminal act’
The body of a woman believed to be Suzanne Eaton is found on the Greek island of Crete in an abandoned World War II bunker; Greg Palkot reports.
Christopher’s case comes on the heels the death of American scientist Suzanne Eaton, whose body was found in an abandoned World War II bunker on the Greek island of Crete last month.
Eaton, a 59-year-old molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, had been on the island for a conference and disappeared while out for a run. A 27-year-old local man has been charged with rape and murder in Eaton’s death.
Fox News’s Bradford Betz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.