Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


British cops work to solve 'unexplained' death of billionaire philanthropist

Eva Rausing, one of Britain's richest women, died Monday. British police are conducting more tests to shed light on her "unexplained" death. Hans Kristian Rausing, her husband, has been arrested. Rausing is an heir to the $6.7 billion TetraPak fortune.

By Cassandra VinogradAssociated Press / July 11, 2012

Eva Rausing, right, and her husband Hans Kristian Rausing at Winfield House, London, the residence of the US ambassador in 1996. One of Britain's richest women, American-born Eva Rausing, was found dead in her west London home. British police say that an autopsy had failed to uncover a formal cause of death.

(AP Photo/Alan Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd)

Enlarge

London

 Investigators were conducting further tests Wednesday in a bid to shed light on the death of Eva Rausing, one of Britain's richest women, whose body was found in her west London home.

Skip to next paragraph

Her husband, Hans Kristian Rausing, has been arrested in connection with her death, which police are treating as unexplained.

U.S.-born Eva Rausing, 48, and her husband were wealthy philanthropists who have both waged a long battle against drug addiction. They were arrested on drug charges in 2008 after Eva Rausing was caught trying to smuggle crack cocaine and heroin into the U.S. Embassy in London in her handbag.

RECOMMENDED: The world's 10 richest women

Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, is an heir to the TetraPak fortune his father built as a globally successful manufacturer of laminated cardboard drink containers.

Police found Eva Rausing dead at her multimillion-pound (dollar) London home on Monday. Initial post-mortem examinations Tuesday failed to establish a formal cause of her death.

Eva Rausing supported a number of charities that helped to fight addictions. One of them — Action on Addiction — was among the first to express sadness over her death and praise her "wonderfully generous" support over the years.

She also was listed as a long-time supporter of The Prince's Foundation, part of a group of nonprofit charities that have Prince Charles as their patron. His office said the prince was told of Rausing's death but did not offer further comment.

The Metropolitan Police said officers arrested a 49-year-old man Monday in connection with the case. Police did not release the man's name but offered details of the arrest in response to a question about Hans Kristian Rausing.

They said they arrested the man on suspicion of drug possession, and that a subsequent search of an address in London's upmarket Belgravia neighborhood related to that arrest led to the discovery of Eva Rausing's body later that day.

Police said he remained under arrest Wednesday but was receiving medical attention at a location away from a police station. They would not say if the man was under guard.

Eva Rausing's parents, Tom and Nancy Kemeny, and the rest of her family paid tribute to a "devoted wife" and mother of four "much loved and wonderful children," saying they were devastated over her death. Their statement also alluded to her struggles.

"During her short lifetime she made a huge philanthropic impact, supporting a large number of charitable causes, not only financially, but using her own personal experiences," the family said in a statement. "She bravely fought her health issues for many years."

A statement from her in-laws, Hans and Marit Rausing, said they were "deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death."

In a diplomatic scandal in 2008, Eva Rausing was arrested outside the U.S. Embassy in for reportedly trying to bring crack cocaine and heroin into building in her handbag. Police later found small amounts of cocaine, crack and heroin in a search of the couple's house. They were charged with drug possession but prosecutors later agreed to drop the charges in exchange for formal police warnings.

At the time, the Rausing family issued a statement saying relatives were "deeply saddened" by the couple's drug problems and hoped they could overcome their addictions.

Hans Rausing's Swedish father helped transform TetraPak into a hugely successful manufacturer. The fortune of the senior Rausing and his family is estimated at 4.3 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) by the Sunday Times Rich List.

RECOMMENDED: The world's 10 richest women

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!