American scientist murdered in Crete suffered a slow death, forensic pathologists say

Suzanne Eaton was smothered to death police now say

The death of Suzanne Eaton is now being investigated as a crime officials said. Facebook

Eaton had been attending a conference in Crete.

The body of the scientist was found face down - and under a ventilation shaft, reportedly covered by a large wooden pallet - in an apparent attempt to hide the murder. Eaton was actually asphyxiated by unknown assailants and sustained minor stab wounds, according to Greek police. Her body was eventually found in a bunker dug by the Nazis when they controlled Crete, the bunker, which is not well known and is not a tourist attraction, leads some to suspect an involvement by a neo-Nazi person or persons who would know of it, the Daily Beast reported. The police believe the body was dumped inside the cave, because it was found face down.

The body was found by two local people, Police chief for Crete Konstantinos Lagoudakis said he has not seen a case like this in his entire term in office. She loved perfume. She taught and practiced Tae Kwon Do as a second degree black belt.

"Sue is too great a person for her legacy to be defined in any way by how we lost her", her sister said in a statement.

The statements were released on a website set up by Eaton's employer, the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University in Germany.

"It's open right now, we're looking forward, maybe we can find DNA", Stamatis Belivanis said.

The horrific details surrounding Eaton's death have shocked the locals, some of whom thought she died in a hiking accident.

Crete is a peaceful island steeped in ancient Greek mythology.

Colleagues at the Max Plank Institute-where Eaton worked in the fields of molecular and developmental biology-praised her professionalism, dedication, collegiality and, deep, original thinking, describing Eaton as "an inspiring role model for women in science as well as for young scientists". "She managed to live a life with few regrets, balancing out her personal life with her career", her son, Max, wrote on the tribute site, adding that despite being a dedicated scientist, Eaton was never "outdone" by any of the full-time mothers in her neighborhood.

"For us we saw that family coming and being touched by this but also having all this strength to go to the end and find their mother", she said.

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