Missing American Scientist Found Dead on Greek Island of Crete

The body of missing American scientist Suzanne Eaton was found Monday night.
Suzanne Eaton was reported missing after she failed to attend a business seminar.Facebook

Biologist Suzanne Eaton was reported missing last week.

The body of a prominent American scientist has been found in a cave on the island of Crete, nearly one week after she vanished during what authorities believe was her daily jog.

Suzanne Eaton, 59, was attending a business conference at the Orthodox Academy on the Greek island when she failed to show up at an evening seminar, officials said.

In her room, authorities discovered her passport, phone, wallet and cash. Her running shoes and shirt were missing, leading police and relatives to believe she had gone on her daily, three-mile run. 

Law enforcement and volunteers scoured the surrounding area, which includes rough, hilly terrain and jagged coastlines. Dogs, helicopters and drones were also used to search for the respected biologist who taught at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany.

"It is with enormous sadness and regret that we announce the tragic demise of our dearest friend and colleague, Suzanne Eaton," her employer said in a statement. 

"We are deeply shocked and disturbed by this tragic event. Suzanne was an outstanding and inspiring scientist, a loving spouse and mother, an athlete as well as a truly wonderful person beloved to us all," the institute said. "Her loss is unbearable. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Tony, her sons Max and Luke, and with all her family."

Eaton's husband, British scientist Anthony Hyman, flew with the couple's sons to join searchers on the island. The woman's niece, Callie Broaddus, traveled from Washington, D.C.

Relatives established a Facebook page to update colleagues and friends and to raise funds to help with the search effort.

On Tuesday, Broaddus posted the sad news that her aunt had been found dead.

"I understand that many of you want answers," she wrote. "I am thankful you are invested in this case, but I humbly ask that you avoid speculation on this page. We cannot comment on anything at this time, but I will post a message here when the time is appropriate. With thanks, Callie."

Her family speculated Eaton may have become overheated and went looking for shade, or perhaps fell from a steep path and was injured. Authorities have not said how the American died. Her body was found about 6 miles from the institute, where she was last seen playing the piano on July 4.