Oakland-born scientist suffocated in Greece, body found in WWII bunker covered in burlap: reports

An Oakland-born scientist who went missing last week in Greece and later was found dead in an abandoned World War II bunker was suffocated, authorities said Wednesday, and her body covered in burlap bag, according to local media accounts. 

Suzanne Eaton, a 59-year-old molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, was last seen on July 2 near the port of Chania, on the Greek island of Crete. Colleagues at the conference had told authorities they believed she had gone for a run in the area, Fox News reported.

Greek police discovered her body Monday in a man-made cave that was used as a bunker during the Nazi occupation of Crete, located about six miles from where Eaton was last seen. Local police told the Greek Reporter that an examination of Eaton's body determined she died as a result of suffocation.

Eaton's body was located about 200 feet from the entrance to the bunker, "bruised" and covered in burlap, according to the Greek Reporter.

Officials are not yet sure if the crime was committed at the scene, or if the 59-year-old was killed elsewhere and disposed of in the cave, Greek news outlet Ekathimerini reported.

Eaton had been attending a conference in Crete. The Max Planck Institute called her death a "tragic demise."

Eaton, originally from Oakland, California, was the wife of British scientist Tony Hyman and the mother of two sons, Max and Luke, according to the institute.

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.