Greek authorities are searching for British scientist Dr Natalie Christopher, 34, that is believed to have disappeared after she went for a morning run on the Aegean island of Ikaria.

Police efforts have intensified 24 hours after she was first reported missing with a special helicopter dispatched to join the search operation. It is hoped that the infrared cameras of the helicopter may help locate the missing woman

The police released a statement on Tuesday: “The police search, which began yesterday, includes members of Ikaria’s fire fighting service with two vehicles, a group of volunteers, members of the coast guard and a helicopter form the civil protection agency,” it said.

Dr Christopher is an Oxford-educated Anglo-Cypriot astrophysicist lecturing at the European University of Cyprus. She is also known for her efforts in leading a campaign to reunite the divided island of Cyprus.

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Her Cypriot partner, aged 38, holidaying with her on the island, said he woke up to find that his partner, an avid hiker, had left a note stating that  she had gone out jogging. He was alarmed when she failed to return several hours later and was not answering her mobile phone. Local media reports stated that there were radio signals that are believed to have been from the scientist’s phone picked up by a tower at Fournous, an island opposite Ikaria.

Police said on Tuesday that they were also investigating DNA from the blood found on hotel bed sheets in the room where the scientist was staying. Hotel owner Theodoros Theodorakis told local media that the droplets looked similar to the ones he would typically find in cases of nosebleeds.

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The couple had arrived on the island on Saturday and had planned to stay for a couple of days before returning to their home in Nicosia.