Friday, 23 August, 2019

Police to charge suspect in US scientist's slaying in Crete

American 59-year-old molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton in an undated American 59-year-old molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton in an undated
Patty Aguilar | 16 July, 2019, 15:58

Police have reported that a Greek man confessed to killing a Byram Hill High School graduate on the island of Crete, according to CNN.

Police chief Constantine Lagoudakis said the suspect, a local farmer, had confessed to the "violent criminal act".

An autopsy concluded that she died from suffocation, one of the coroners said, adding that several signs show that she suffered a slow death.

Eaton's body was found near the settlement of Xamoudochori, in Hania, almost a week after she was last seen by friends on July 2.

Eaton, a molecular biologist, was attending a conference in Crete when she vanished July 2 after going on a run. Minor stab wounds were also found on her body, but police said they were not believed to be the cause of her death.

The 59-year-old scientist was discovered by two locals exploring the bunker which is a system of manmade caves used by the Nazis during the occupation of Crete in World War Two.

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Speaking at the press conference, police officer Eleni Papathanasiou said the suspect saw Eaton in the street and rammed her with his vehicle twice.

Crete police are expected to released additional details on Tuesday, July 16.

Eaton was from NY state but had been living and working in Germany at the Max Planck Institute in eastern city of Dresden. "She fit Jane Austin's strictest description of an "accomplished woman" while maintaining a natural humility and 'insatiable curiosity'". She was the mother of two sons and married to a British scientist.

She continued, "But anyone who read of her accomplishments in the field of molecular and developmental biology, or who witnessed her joy in tutoring, comforting, and inspiring her children, or sharing with, and loving her husband, would not have suspected".

In messages on the Institute's website, her brother, Rob Eaton, described his sister as kind and intelligent. I would always walk away with a head full of new ideas and enthusiasm. They've said they want the world to remember her as an acclaimed scientist, talented athlete, musician and beloved mother.

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