Suspect arrested over death of US scientist in Crete
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Suspect arrested over death of US scientist in Crete

27-year-old man suspected of murdering Suzanne Eaton in Greece earlier this month; police say motive appears to be ‘sexual abuse’

American 59-year-old molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton in an undated photo provided by her family. (AP Photo)
American 59-year-old molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton in an undated photo provided by her family. (AP Photo)

ATHENS, Greece — Greek police on Monday arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of the murder of an American scientist whose body was found in an abandoned WWII bunker on the island of Crete in early July.

The body of Suzanne Eaton, a molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University, was found near the city of Chania nearly a week after she was last seen by friends on July 2.

Eaton, 59, had been attending a conference in the city.

Police said they had detained a Crete local for questioning in Chania.

“The death seems to have been caused by asphyxiation,” police said in a statement. They added that the motive appeared to have been “sexual abuse.”

A boat passes a lighthouse as it enters the old port of the town of Chania, in the Greek island of Crete, April 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Dimiti Messinis)

Eaton was found inside a cave complex near the settlement of Xamoudochori, a short distance from the nearest road, deepening suspicion that she was killed elsewhere and hidden there.

The little-known bunker had been used by German occupation forces during World War II.

According to media reports, an examination of her remains indicated that her mouth and nose had been blocked.

She is survived by her husband, Israel-born British scientist Anthony Hyman, and two sons.

In a statement released after her death, the Max Planck Institute said it was “deeply shocked and disturbed by this tragic event.”

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