Body of missing US scientist found in WW2 bunker in Crete

Suzanne Eaton, a 59-year-old molecular biologist found dead in Crete

Suzanne Eaton was found dead in Crete six days after being reported missing (Picture: AP)

An American scientist who went missing more than a week ago has been found dead inside a World War Two bunker on the Greek Island of Crete.

Police say Suzanne Eaton, 59, died of suffocation and her death is being treated as a criminal act.

The molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany had been attending a conference on the island when she vanished after going jogging.

Her body was found on rocky terrain inside the abandoned WW2 bunker, around six miles away from where she was last seen on July 2, police said.

Two locals found her while exploring the bunker, which is a system of manmade caves used by the Nazis during the occupation of Crete.

Police said officers from Athens including homicide detectives had travelled to the island to head the investigation.

epa07705409 An undated handout photo made available by Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics on 09 July 2019 shows US scientist Suzanne Eaton at an undisclosed location. According to a press release by Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics,on 09 July 2019, missing Dresden based scientist Suzanne Eaton was found dead in Crete, Greece, in the evening of 08 July 2019. Media reported that 59-year-old Eaton was visiting Crete on the occasion of a conference and was missing since nearly a week. EPA/MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE DRESDEN HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Mrs Eaton, a molecular biologist, was on the Greek island for a conference (Picture: EPA)

A major search for the scientist was launched in Chania – where the conference was being held – after members of her family raised the alarm.



Fire Service rescue team leader Nikolaos Papaleonidas, who led the search, said: We showed respect for her remains which were found in a tunnel.

The recovery operation was not difficult but it followed an extensive search effort.

The tunnel was about 100 meters from a rural road.

Local reports say a forensic autopsy found Mrs Eaton had been suffocated but there was no other indication of trauma.

Police are investigating whether she was killed inside the bunker or moved there after the event.

The Greek Reporter said her body had been covered in burlap, a rough cloth, leading Greek authorities to conclude she had been killed.

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