Greek authorities identified a suspect on Thursday accused of the brutal killing and rape of American scientist Suzanne Eaton.
In a statement released, police identified the man as 27-year-old Yiannis Paraskakis, the son of a priest from the port city of Chania on the island of Crete.
Paraskakis has been charged with the rape and murder of Eaton, 59, who disappeared on July 2 while attending a conference near Chania. Her body was found six days later in an abandoned underground storage site used during World War II.
An autopsy showed Eaton died of asphyxiation and had “many broken ribs, and facial bones, and multiple injuries to both hands," officials have said.
Authorities said the suspect told them he had hit Eaton twice with his car before abducting her.
A public prosecutor waived the suspect’s privacy rights citing the public safety concerns, and the need to assist an investigation of his possible involvement in other offenses.
“It’s hard to imagine she’s gone,” Eaton’s longtime friend and fellow scientist Rebecca Heald told CBS News. “Suzanne was an amazing combination of grace and beauty and strength.”
Eaton was a renowned molecular biologist living in Germany, where she worked for the Max Planck Institute, a globally-recognized research organization. The establishment said in a statement that they were “deeply shocked and disturbed by the tragic event” and dubbed her an “outstanding and inspiring scientist.”
“The legacy of her scientific achievements will live on and continue to inspire young scientists and also the legacy as a person will continue with her family,” Heald said.
Fox News' Morgan Cheung contributed to this report.