Suspect confesses in murder of U.S. scientist, Greek police say

Molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton in

Greek police believe they have found the killer of an American biologist who was found murdered on the island of Crete on July 8, a source said today.

The 27-year-old suspect was arrested Monday after DNA evidence linked him to the crime, the DPA news agency said, citing local media reports.

A source told ABC that the man told police he had struck his victim with a auto and that the murder was intentional.

Investigators are specifically interested in men with muscular builds and the ability to overpower someone as physically strong as Eaton, who was an avid runner and held a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

A post-mortem concluded that she died of asphyxiation while contusions found on the victim may have been inflicted to immobilize her, police sources told Reuters.

The detained man, police said, was being questioned in the port city of Chania in connection with the killing.

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Suzanne Eaton, a 59-year-old molecular biologist, was attending a conference on Crete when she went missing on July 2.

More details are expected to be announced Tuesday, Crete police said. She was found inside a World War Two bunker six days later.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Greek state coroner Antonis Papadomanolakis said that "something complicated happened" during the American's final hours and that her death was "not immediate". Eaton had visited Crete before for reasons related to her work.

Eaton was from California but living and working in Germany when she was killed.

The Max Planck Institute mourned Eaton's death and celebrated her life and contributions to science, publishing a number of dedications from family and friends on their website.

After leaving her body there, he re-blocked the entrance of the shaft with a wooden palette and then went to a nearby graveyard, "where he carefully cleaned the trunk of his auto from evidence and other forensic findings", Papathanasiou said. She is survived by her husband, British scientist Tony Hyman, and two sons. "Most of all I will miss the kindest, wisest person I will probably ever know".

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