Suspect admits to killing U.S. scientist Suzanne Eaton in Greece, police source says

Eaton's body was found July 8 outside the port city of Chania, days after she was reported missing.

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By John Papadopoulos and Janelle Griffith

ATHENS, Greece — A suspect apprehended in connection with the death of Suzanne Eaton, a molecular biologist from California who was found dead last week, admitted to killing her, a Greek police source with direct knowledge told NBC News.

The 27-year-old, who has not yet been identified, was brought in for questioning and eventually confessed to the murder, the police source said.

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Eaton, 59, was last seen July 2. She was found July 8 outside the port city of Chania, days after she was reported missing.

Her remains were in an area of caves and abandoned shooting ranges in Platanias on the island of Crete, according to the deputy mayor of the village, Kostas Bebelidakis.

Authorities had launched a major search for her in rural areas near Chania. Eaton's husband and two sons had traveled to Crete to aid in the search.

Last week, the coroner said Eaton's death "resulted from a criminal act," but did not provide further details citing the pending investigation.

An autopsy concluded that she died from suffocation, one of the coroners said, adding that several signs show that she suffered a slow death.

Eaton, who worked at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, had been attending a conference in Crete. Her body is scheduled to be flown to Frankfurt on Tuesday.

Papadopoulos reported from Athens, Griffith from New York.