Greek man arrested over American scientist′s death | News | DW | 16.07.2019
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Greek man arrested over American scientist's death

Suzanne Eaton, a biologist at Germany's Max Planck, was found dead in an abandoned WWII bunker in the island of Crete. She was a world-renowned scientist in developmental biology.

Police on the Greek island of Crete said Tuesday a 27-year-old man is to be charged with the murder of US scientist Suzanne Eaton.

Police chief Constantine Lagoudakis said the suspect, a local farmer, had confessed to the "violent criminal act." A second man has been arrested for questioning. 

Eaton, 59, was a molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute at Germany's Dresden University. She was on Crete to attend a conference and went missing on July 2, when friends said she likely went for a run.

A week later, her body was found in an abandoned World War II bunker some 7 miles (11 km) from her hotel. 

"The death seems to have been caused by asphyxiation," police said in a statement, adding that the motive appeared to have been "sexual abuse."

The 27-year-old suspect was arrested Monday after DNA evidence linked him to the crime, the DPA news agency said, citing local media reports. Police believe the man ran over Eaton twice with his car before sexually assaulting her and dumping her body in the bunker. 

The molecular biologist is survived by her husband, British scientist Anthony Hyman, and two sons.

A world-renowned scientist

The Max Planck Institute mourned Eaton's death and celebrated her life and contributions to science,, publishing a number of dedications from family and friends on their website.

In it, her son wrote that his mother was a "remarkable woman" who had lived life with few regrets, "balancing out her personal life with her career."

"The Max Planck Society will forever remember Suzanne for all she contributed to our community and far beyond," the president of the organization said.

"She was a world-renowned scientist who was a key player in developmental biology, respected and loved by the wide international community," her research group colleagues said. "Her example of a joyous and graceful approach to science and life has enriched us all."

nm,jcg/rc (AP, AFP, dpa)

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