Alana Cutland disappearance: Body found in search for missing student who fell from plane in Madagascar

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Police in Madagascar have found a body in the search for missing student Alana Cutland (PA)

Police on the island of Madagascar searching for a missing British teenager who fell out of a plane have found a body.

Nineteen-year-old Cambridge University student Alana Cutland fell from a light aircraft after carrying out research in the remote area of Anjajavy on July 25, despite efforts from those on board to keep her inside.

Police in Madagascar were investigating whether Ms Cutland, from Milton Keynes, had deliberately thrown herself to her death as the two-door plane flew over the savanna.

According to news reports on Tuesday, a body was found in a remote area of the island, that lies off the east coast of Africa.

The 19-year-old fell from a light aircraft after carrying out research in the remote area of Anjajavy (Wikipedia(

Police chief Spinola Nomenjanahary told The Sun newspaper: "They have found a human body north of the site where she fell.”

He said the body would be flown back to the Madagascan capital Antananarivo and the British embassy had been informed.

Toxicology tests will also be conducted on the body when it arrives, The Sun reported.

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Ms Cutland's uncle previously said she had become sick during her time in Madagascar, possibly due to prescription medication, with reports claiming police were investigating her possible use of an anti-malaria drug.

The plane's pilot said Ms Cutland, a natural sciences student, had a headache when she boarded and stayed silent during the flight.

Mahefa Tahina Rantoanina told The Sun he had "no idea" why Ms Cutland had opened a door of the tiny plane mid-flight and "jumped" out.

Authorities in Madagascar released a photographic recreation of what they say is the moment Ms Cutland fell from the plane (Handout)

Police photographs which recreated Ms Cutland's final moments appeared to show the pilot and the second passenger grasping hold of the victim's leg as she hung out of the plane.

Ms Cutland eventually fell to her death after a struggle to free herself.

It was previously reported that Ms Cutland suffered "paranoia attacks" while on the research trip to the island.

Police said she was in regular contact with her parents and was making her way home via the island's main airport.

In an earlier statement, her heartbroken family paid tribute to "a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her”.

They added: ”Alana grasped every opportunity that was offered to her with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure, always seeking to extend her knowledge and experience in the best ways possible.”

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