Body of missing American scientist found in Crete

The body of missing 59-year-old American scientist Suzanne Eaton was found in a cave at the port city of Chania, Crete, Monday evening, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics said.

Suzanne Eaton in an undated photo.

Authorities said a man found Eaton in the Maleme area, but authorities have not officially identified the body. She had been missing since July 2 in Crete, where she was attending a science conference.

“It is with enormous sadness and regret that we announce the tragic demise of our dearest friend and colleague, Suzanne Eaton,” said a statement from the Max Planck Institute, where Eaton worked as a research group leader.

The institute said the events surrounding her death are being investigated by authorities.

A Facebook page dedicated to her search said Eaton was a runner and her running shoes were missing from her room, suggesting that she may have been out on a jog.

“We are deeply shocked and disturbed by this tragic event,” the institute said. “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. Her loss is unbearable. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Tony, her sons Max and Luke, and with all her family.”

An Oklahoma native, Eaton also worked as a professor at the Biotechnology Center of TU Dresden in Germany.

ByClyde Hughes