The 27-year-old son of a priest has confessed to raping and killing renowned American scientist Suzanne Eaton and then dumping her body in a World War II-era bunker, police said Tuesday.
The unnamed suspect admitted to abducting Eaton, 59, on the Greek island of Crete and was "motivated by sexual satisfaction," Police Maj. Eleni Papathanasiou told reporters.
The man told police he saw Eaton walking on July 2 near the town of Chania, Papathanasiou said. The molecular biologist was reported missing that day after she failed to return from her daily run.
Her body was found on July 8 in an abandoned bunker built by the Nazis during their occupation of the island. An autopsy determined the cause of death as suffocation. Forensic evidence also showed she suffered several broken ribs, face fractures, stab wounds and multiple injuries of both hands, police said.
The suspect said he hit Eaton twice with his car, leaving her unconscious, and then loaded her into his trunk, according to authorities. He drove to the bunker and entered through a ventilation shaft, the police major said. Eaton was dead before her body was abandoned, officials said.
It is not clear where or when she was sexually assaulted.
The man, who is a married local resident, then cleaned the trunk of his vehicle and blocked the cave's ventilation shaft with a wooden pallet, authorities said.
Eaton had come to the island for a professional conference. She lived in Germany with her scientist husband and their two sons. Her family flew to Crete after she vanished to help search for her.
Police said the suspect, whose father is a local priest, was brought in for questioning after submitting to DNA testing. He confessed after giving "many conflicting answers," the police major said.