Greek police detail rape, murder of U.S. scientist in Crete

Police revealed new details Tuesday show how a U.S. scientist was raped and murdered on the Greek island of Crete earlier this month.

Dr. Suzanne Eaton was hit by a car, forced into the trunk and then taken to an old Nazi bunker where she was raped and choked to death. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Eaton/Facebook

The suspect, arrested Monday, confessed to killing molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton.

“He admitted his guilt and today he will be brought to justice,” Crete Police Chief Lt. Gen Constantine Lagoudakis said.

The 27-year-old suspect saw Eaton while driving through the town of Kolymbari Greece on July 2, the day she was reported missing, Lagoudakis said.


The attacker purposely hit her with his vehicle, knocking her unconscious so he could put her into the trunk of his car. He took her to an abandoned bunker used by the Nazis during World War II near the town of Maleme. There he raped her and choked her to death.

She had multiple injuries to both hands, broken ribs and face bones.

“The motive of the murder was sexual,” Lagoudakis said.


After she died, the suspect blocked the entrance to the bunker with a wooden palette and “carefully cleaned” the trunk of his car.

The man was detained after police got DNA evidence from people who live nearby.

The suspect, who wasn’t identified, had a strong presence on social media, a passion for Asian martial arts and loved adventure. He got married three years ago and is the father of two young children. His father was a priest.
He once uploaded a video of himself exploring the bunker system where he would later commit his crime. The publicly available video provided evidence to police that the suspect was familiar with the bunker.

Eaton was a 59-year-old molecular biologist and a married mother of two originally from Oakland, Calif. She was attending a conference in Crete when she disappeared. Her running shoes were gone from her hotel room but her belongings remained, leading some to think she went for a run and never came back.

Police used dogs and helicopters to comb the island for Eaton, eventually finding her body in the bunker.

ByNicholas Sakelaris