Friday 20 October 2017

Hiker 'devoured' by pack of wolves had phoned brother during fatal struggle

Stock photo
Stock photo

A missing British hiker whose dismembered, fleshless remains were found in the hills of northern Greece was probably attacked by wolves while walking alone on a remote path, torn apart and devoured, a Greek coroner said.

Celia Lois Hollingworth has been identified as the probable victim and coroner Nikos Kifnidis said the woman's thigh bones had been cracked open by bites and large sections of her body are still missing.

He said a vet at Wednesday's post mortem in the nearby town of Komotini confirmed no dog or jackal could have administered such bites.

The remains, mostly bare, gnawed bones, were discovered on Saturday near the village of Petrota, 180 miles east of the city of Thessaloniki.

Near them, authorities found a passport for Ms Hollingworth (63) whom the British embassy in Athens reported missing in the area on Friday.

The woman's brother in the UK had raised the alarm with British authorities, reportedly telling them she had phoned to say she was being attacked by dogs.

Police have not confirmed the identity of the remains but say they most likely belong to Ms Hollingworth.

"I concluded that the woman was attacked by wild animals who devoured her," Mr Kifnidis said.

"I think she was eaten by a wolf or wolves."

Wolves roam remote parts of Greece and have been reported in the Petrota area but attacks on humans are very rare and no fatal attacks have been reported in decades.

Mr Kifnidis said there was a slight possibility that Ms Hollingworth fell victim to a criminal attack by another human, but added "this is unlikely, as she herself phoned her brother and said she was being attacked by dogs".

Tests on animal hairs found among the remains are expected to identify the carnivores, he added.

Police said Ms Hollingworth had been visiting a seaside archaeological site at Messimvria on Thursday, where she arrived by taxi from the village of Maroneia, home to another ancient site, about 19 miles away by road.

She was last seen alive later in the day on a path that forms a shortcut between the two sites.

The remains were found in the hills inland, toward Petrota.

Press Association

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