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An American scientist who went missing last week in Greece and later was found dead in an abandoned World War II bunker was suffocated, authorities said Wednesday, as new details were revealed about where her body was discovered.
Suzanne Eaton, a 59-year-old molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, was last seen on July 2 near the port of Chania, on the Greek island of Crete. Colleagues at the conference had told authorities they believed she had gone for a run in the area.
Greek police discovered her body Monday in a man-made cave that was used as a bunker during the Nazi occupation of Crete, located about 6 miles from where Eaton was last seen.
On Wednesday, state coroner Antonis Papadomanolakis said that Eaton died as a result of a "criminal act."
Local police told the Greek Reporter that an examination of Eaton's body determined she died as a result of suffocation.
"What is definite is that we are talking about homicide. Also, there was no sign of death by gun," an unidentified official in the medical examiner's office told the outlet.
The 59-year-old's body was discovered in a cave in a rural area near Chania, located on the westernmost side of Crete. Fire service rescue team leader Nikolaos Papaleonidas said the recovery came after an "extensive search effort." The bunker was located about 330 feet from a nearby road, according to Sky News.
Eaton's body was located about 200 feet from the entrance to the bunker, "bruised" and covered in burlap, according to the Greek Reporter.
Papadomanolakis told the AP he believed the woman died around the time she was last seen, on July 2.
Officials are not yet sure if the crime was committed at the scene, or if the 59-year-old was killed elsewhere and disposed of in the cave, Greek news outlet Ekathimerini reported.
An American scientist who went missing last week in Greece before she was found dead in an abandoned World War II bunker was suffocated, authorities said Wednesday as new details were revealed about where her body was discovered.