American scientist Suzanne Eaton raped and killed in Greece: 27-year-old suspect identified

American scientist Suzanne Eaton raped and killed in Greece: 27-year-old suspect identified

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The man charged with the killing and rape of a prominent American scientist who was in Greece for a conference has been identified.

Yiannis Paraskaki, 27, of Crete, was identified by Greek authorities on Thursday. Police say he confessed to the crimes after police questioning earlier in the week.

Eaton, 59, a molecular biologist, was in Crete for a conference and is believed to have gone for a walk or jog around midday on July 2. She never returned.

A massive search to find her was launched on Crete, Greece’s largest island and a popular tourist destination, with search dogs, fire service rescuers, specialized sea equipment, and volunteers. Eaton’s husband and two sons traveled to the island to help look for her, and family and friends raised tens of thousands of dollars to aid the search effort, which lasted six days.

Her body was found on July 8 in the ventilation drain of an abandoned World War II bunker outside the port city of Chania, Crete.

When Greek police brought in Paraskaki for questioning, he admitted to raping and murdering Eaton, saying he was “motivated by sexual satisfaction.”

He said he deliberately hit Eaton twice with his car, put her in his trunk, and abducted her. After assaulting and killing her, he dumped her body and tried to scrub his vehicle of evidence, authorities said.

An autopsy showed the Eaton died from suffocation and had multiple broken bones in her ribs and face, and injuries to her hands.

She worked at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, which described her as a leading scientist in her field and mourned her death in a statement. She was attending an conference at the the Orthodox Academy of Crete.

“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.”

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