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.

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

 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.

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.