Suzanne Eaton murdered in Crete: Greek police say American scientist suffocated on work trip

The death of an American scientist last week while she was on a work trip to Greece was "100 percent" murder, a coroner has told CBS News. Suzanne Eaton's body was found Monday evening on the island of Crete in an old World War II bunker. Local authorities say that there are currently no suspects, but they believe Eaton was strangled shortly after she went missing on July 2.

Eaton was a black belt in taekwondo and the coroner said he thinks more than one person may have been involved in the crime. The World War II bunker where Greek authorities found Eaton's body is about six miles from where she was last seen.

Investigators, volunteers and family members, spent days scouring rugged terrain in extreme heat for any sign of the 59-year-old, who was last seen playing piano at the hotel where she was attending a conference. Her family believes later that day she went for a run later that day, something she did every day. All her belongings, including her passport, wallet and phone, were still in her room, but her running shoes were not.

The abandoned World War II bunker where Suzanne Eaton's body was found Zarpa News

About 24 hours later, when Eaton's colleagues had not heard from her, they contacted authorities. Almost a week later her body was found in the bunker about 100 meters from a rural road. The coroner said he believed the body was placed there after her death. Homicide detectives from Athens are now helping with the investigation. 
"It's hard to imagine she's gone," Eaton's longtime friend and fellow scientist Rebecca Heald said. "Suzanne was an amazing combination of grace and beauty and strength."

Eaton was an award-winning molecular biologist and was living in Germany, where she worked for the Max Planck Institute, a world-renowned research organization. In a statement, the institute said they were "deeply shocked and disturbed by the tragic event" and called Eaton an "outstanding and inspiring scientist."

"The legacy of her scientific achievements will live on and continue to inspire young scientists and also the legacy as a person will continue with her family," Heald said.

Eaton was the mother of two sons and married to a British scientist. Her family members, including her sister, traveled to Greece to join the search efforts, and are still there. In a message on Facebook, the family said it is grateful for all the support they have received.