"I found paradise and it's called Isla Ina," wrote Catherine Johannet on Jan. 28 on Instagram of an island off Panama's coast. It would be the 23-year-old's final post. The 2015 Columbia University grad was found dead Sunday afternoon on the country's Bastimentos Island. Now the New York Daily News cites Panama's La Prensa in reporting an initial autopsy suggests she was strangled. The Edgemont, New York, native was last seen Thursday morning. The Briarcliff Daily Voice reports she had planned to leave Colon Island, where she was staying, to go to Red Frog Beach on Bastimentos for the day; authorities were alerted when she didn't return to her hostel, and her body was found by a police officer days later in a wooded area near Bastimentos' shore.
The Daily News calls Johannet a "globetrotting Scarsdale woman," and her brother Paul elaborates on that in a Facebook post. "She was a world traveler—by the age of 23, she had already visited 6 continents and innumerable countries, including a recent 18-month trip to Vietnam where she taught English Literature to local students." Panamanian investigators, in concert with the FBI, on Tuesday conducted raids on the area as part of their investigation, though no details have been given regarding them or whether there are any suspects. Adds brother Paul, "She was cheerful, adventurous, thoughtful and warm—all qualities I strive towards. I'll always look up to my youngest sister." (A teen confessed on Monday to killing an American tourist in London.)