British tourist goes missing in dense Brazilian forest

British tourist Katherine Sarah Brewster has gone missing in Brazil
British tourist Katherine Sarah Brewster has gone missing in Brazil
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Brazilian police are searching for a British woman who disappeared in the southern state of Santa Catarina five days ago.

Katherine Sarah Brewster, 27, was believed to have been staying in the village of Dom Jose in Alpestre when she went missing last Sunday.

Ms Brewster, originally from Sussex, is believed to have gone for a walk in a remote wooded area to meditate and never returned.

It was suggested she may have been staying at a permaculture commune popular with backpackers, but UniPermacultura Dom Jose denied she was ever a guest.

In a statement published on its Facebook page, UniPermacultura said she had been staying with a couple in the village.

The commune said: “We do not know [Ms Brewster] and we had no knowledge of who she was. We only know that she resided as a guest in the house of the couple Luis Alfredo Vasconcelos and Nelly, who live in the rural village of Dom Jose and have no connection, nor lived in the ecovillage.”

It added: “What we do know is that she came after a friend who was a guest and friend of the couple.

“We and other neighbours were informed by the couple of Katherine’s disappearance.”

UniPermacultura said the couple did not know whether Ms Brewster had simply left without warning or saying goodbye or whether she had gone to meditate in nearby woodland, which she had done in the past.

The commune said there had been no cases of violence in Dom Jose since being established three years ago, adding the family hosting Ms Brewster were “very concerned”.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Our staff are assisting the family of a British woman who has been reported missing in Brazil and are in contact with the local police.”

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