The American biologist whose body was found in a Nazi bunker in Crete, Greece, on Monday was murdered, it has been revealed.
Dr. Suzanne Eaton was found dumped in the cavernous tunnel network near Chania on Monday night.
The 59-year-old mother-of-two was a Californian native who lived in Germany with her British scientist husband.
Local medical examiners have revealed that she was suffocated, stabbed and one of her ears had been cut off, according to local outlet Star.gr.
Her body was found in a network of tunnels used by the Nazis to store ammunition following the Battle of Crete in 1941, which saw the Germans triumph and overwhelm the island until 1945, when they surrendered to the British after years of strong resistance from local civilians.
Greek media reports indicate that the person or people who put Dr. Eaton’s body there must know the network of tunnels well.
She was found 200ft inside the network by a pair of civilians who alerted authorities on Monday.
The one where she was found is especially difficult to access because there is a tree at its entrance.
According to two Greek coroners cited by Star.gr, Eaton’s murderers covered her nose and her mouth to kill her.
The biologist and mother-of-two vanished on July 2 sometime in the afternoon. Her family believe she had gone out running because the only thing missing from her hotel room were her running shoes.
She was due to attend an event that was part of a conference she was on the island for at 6pm but never showed up.
Relatives previously guessed that she may have died as a result of heat exposure or exhaustion and that she might have taken shelter in the cave during a run in the stifling afternoon heat.
What actually happened was, local officials say, far more sinister but remain largely a mystery.
Cretalive.gr, another local outlet, reports that her body was found on its side, covered by burlap, 60meters from the entrance.
The entrance to the cave is blocked by tree branches.
No one has been arrested and no suspects have been named.
Eaton – who was a research leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany – was on the trip to attend a conference.
Relatives had said they believe she may have became overheated in the 88-degree temperatures and taken shelter where she suffered a medical emergency while out running.
The only items missing from where she was staying were her running shoes. Her passport and wallet were still in her hotel room.
Coroners, S. Belivanis and A. Papadomanalakis discounted the theory that her death was an accident and ruled it a homicide by way of suffocation.
Eaton’s niece Callie Broaddus previously told CrimeOnline ‘she will typically run on trails and roads, especially somewhere with steep edges’.