The mysterious death of American microbiologist Suzanne Eaton was no coincidence – the scientist at the Max Planck Institute was stifled and her body was thrown into a cave bunker from the time of the Nazi occupation.
The biologist disappeared on July 2 while jogging on the island of Crete. Eaton had attended a conference at the Orthodox Academy in the northwest of the island.
A few days later, her body was discovered by two locals about 60 feet in an artificial cave that was used as a bunker by Nazi forces during this period. Her relatives initially believed that her death was an accident due to a severe fall or heat exhaustion, as noted on a Facebook page designed by her family.
However, the ongoing investigation suggests otherwise. The scientist has definitely died as a result of a "criminal act", the coroner Antonis Papadomanolakis told the AP on Wednesday. Eaton was suffocated by unknown assailants, according to the Greek police, and suffered light puncture wounds.
The scientist's body was evidently obscured – and found under a ventilation shaft, reportedly covered by a large wooden pallet – to conceal the murder. The position of the corpse also suggests that she was thrown into the bunker.
"The police are carrying out a murder investigation into Crete, which has taken comprehensive measures to ensure that the responsible party (s) are brought to justice," said Eaton's employer, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Based in Dresden, in a Statement
Eaton was not only a prominent scientist, but also physically fit – she ran daily and even had a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. In view of this fact and the statement of the institute, it can not be ruled out that the police are looking for several suspects. There is no information about the local police.
Eaton received his Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1988 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her husband, British microbiologist Tony Hyman, and both have survived children.
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