Statement from Embassy Panama and Johannet Family

The Ambassador and the American and Panamanian mission members of the United States Embassy in Panama wish to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the government and people of Panama for their collective efforts that led to the capture of the suspected assailant of American citizen and tourist Catherine Johannet on October 24, 2017.

We take this opportunity to share a statement from the family of Ms. Johannet:

“Catherine brought love, wisdom and laughter into countless lives. Last February, when Catherine was visiting Bastimentos, she was taken from us through a senseless act of violence. Our grief and pain have been constant since then.

In the midst of this pain, our family was touched by many compassionate Panamanians. We wish to express our deep thanks to them now that a suspect has been detained. President Juan Carlos Varela, whose personal attention to us has been a source of strength, committed to pursue the investigation until Catherine’s death could be brought to justice so that no other family – American or Panamanian – would have to suffer the loss of a daughter at the hands of the individual who took Catherine’s life. He has kept that commitment.

We also want to express our gratitude to Attorney General Kenia Porcell, Police Chief Omar Pinzon, District Prosecutor Emeldo Marquez and all the police and judicial investigators who have worked tirelessly on this investigation. The Ambassador and the consular and law enforcement staff of the American Embassy in Panama provided us with regular updates and the promise that justice would be served. To all of these committed public servants, we express our profound thanks.”

Since this is an ongoing investigation, the U.S. Embassy and the Johannet family will not comment or speculate any further on the developing facts of the case or its prosecution.