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Astrophysicist Found in Ravine Died Instantly

Natalie Christopher's death was the result of a fall
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2019 9:25 AM CDT
In this file photo dated Sunday, May 12, 2019, British astrophysicist Natalie Christopher, 34, competes during the Atsas Mountain race in Cyprus.   (AP Photo/Aris Kalogerou, FILE)
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(Newser) – The death of a British astrophysicist who went missing while on a run on the Greek island of Ikaria was a tragedy but not a crime. An autopsy has determined that Natalie Christopher, 35, died from severe craniocerebral (aka head) injuries sustained during her fall down a ravine on Aug. 5; she was found two days later. The injuries were concentrated on the back of her head, which suggests she fell backward, Ekathimerini.com reports. The Cyprus Mail reports there was no evidence of a struggle or criminal act, and officials have confirmed there was no foul play.

It's thought that Christopher may have been trying to either scale or descend a rock face when she fell into the 60-foot-deep ravine, possibly hitting a boulder on the way down. The Independent reports a coroner determined she died instantly. The head of the island's rescue unit told the Guardian that searchers passed by the ravine without finding her "at least twice, but the gorge was very deep and very difficult to access. We never expected she could possibly be down there." Christopher's partner, whom she was vacationing with, reported her missing when she didn't return from her run; they had been due to return to Cyprus, where they were based, later that day. (Read more Greece stories.)

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