A recent graduate of Columbia University, Catherine Johannet, had her whole life in front of her. The young grad had a burning passion to travel the world, so she acted on her passion. Sadly, this decision would ultimate end with her demise.
The 23-year-old spent most of her time in Hanoi, Vietnam working with young children before she headed to Panama. Johannet was very in touch with social media as she regularly posted images of her endeavors.
On Jan. 28, she did what she normally did when in a new location, took pictures to show her friends and family on social media. The caption read: “I found paradise and it’s called Isla Ina!”
Johannet was spotted around the city of Panama in the early parts of the morning of Feb. 2, However, when the young adventurer never returned back to her hotel, the owner, who she had become friends with, began to worry. The owner informed local authorities of her disappearance, which prompted a large search party.
Three days later, Johannet’s body was found. She had been strangled. If matters couldn’t become any worse, an autopsy report indicated she was strangled with her own pink scarf.
Her parents were soon informed and flew to Panama to confirm it was indeed their daughter. During the funeral, her mother told the church her daughter was an adventure, not a risk taker. “She was an explorer of people, places, and ideas,” said Alice Medalia. “Catherine had a knack for being in the moment.”
The search for the killer continues to grow. Multiple suspects were brought in for questioning, but no arrests have been made in connection with the crime.
The FBI recently joined the search for justice and claim that Johannet could have been the latest victim of a serial killer in the area.
According to the local Panama paper, the unsolved deaths of two Dutch women, Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers, were in similar locations and both also died from strangulation.
Traveling the world can be a life-altering experience, but it can also be extremely dangerous in certain countries. In Panama alone, over 70 tourists go missing or are found murdered every year, according to touristkilled.com.