Tourist from New York, 23, found dead in Panama City

Posted at 7:23 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 19:45:21-05


WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — A 23-year-old woman from Westchester County has been found dead in Panama City, authorities confirm.

Panama’s Civil Defense said the body of Catherine Johannet was found Sunday on a trail in a wooded area not far from a beach on Bastimentos Island.

The U.S. Embassy in Panama City confirmed her death.

No cause of death was provided.

Authorities are investigating but have not yet determined if there was foul play.

Johannet had been staying in a hostel on Colon Island, part of the same archipelago popular for its clear water and coral reefs.

Bastimentos Island is a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, wildlife and hiking trails.

The U.S. Embassy says that Panamanian authorities and the FBI had searched for Johannet throughout the weekend and will continue investigating the case.

Her sister Laura Johannet thanked friends for their support as family and officials searched.

“Hey friends. thank you for your support as we tried to find my baby sister,” she wrote. “All your shares and contact with others helped us feel like we were doing something while we were stuck getting there. we will always appreciate that. unfortunately we have learned today that she has passed away. my family is thinking of all our beautiful memories with our laughing, adventurous, warm little girl. she was always there to listen to you and just enjoy life with her loved ones. we will keep you posted on funeral plans.

Catherine Johannet graduated from Edgemont High School in 2011 and Columbia University in 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile.

She worked as a teacher in Vietnam from July 2015 until October 2016.