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

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By John Papadopoulos and Janelle Griffith  with NBC News World News
Image: Scientist Suzanne Eaton was reported missing while attending a confe
Scientist Suzanne Eaton was reported missing while attending a conference on the Greek island of Crete.   -   Copyright  Facebook

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

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

Eaton, 59, was last seen on 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 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 tomorrow.

Papadopoulos reported from Athens, Griffith from New York.