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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 24 July, 2019
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Foul play suspected in death of US scientist whose body was found in World War II bunker in Crete

The 59 year-old had been attending a conference on the Greek island.

An undated photo of Suzanne Eaton, who went missing in Crete on 2 July
An undated photo of Suzanne Eaton, who went missing in Crete on 2 July
Image: AP

GREEK POLICE BELIEVE that foul play was involved in the death of a US scientist whose body was found in an abandoned bunker on the island of Crete earlier this week.

The body of Suzanne Eaton was discovered in the World War II bunker near the town of Hania on Monday, almost a week after she was last seen by friends on 2 July.

She was found inside a cave complex near the settlement of Xamoudochori, a short distance from the nearest road, which has led to speculation that she was killed elsewhere and hidden there.

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

“This was a criminal act, death by asphyxiation,” a police source told AFP.

The 59-year-old molecular biologist worked at the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University, which said it was “deeply shocked and disturbed” by her death.

“Suzanne was an outstanding and inspiring scientist, a loving spouse and mother, an athlete as well as a truly wonderful person beloved to us all,” the institute said in a statement.

According to reports, an examination of her remains by two local coroners found evidence of attempted suffocation, although it remains unclear whether that was what caused her death, and police declined to give further details.

Eaton had been attending a conference in Hania at the time of her death, and is survived by her husband, British scientist Anthony Hyman, and two sons.

With additional reporting from - © AFP 2019

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