One of Britain's richest women, American-born Eva Rausing, was found dead in her west London home and a man was arrested in connection with the case, British police said Tuesday, adding that an autopsy had failed to uncover a formal cause of death.
Rausing, 48, was the wife of Hans Kristian Rausing, heir to the TetraPak fortune his father built by creating a successful manufacturer of laminated cardboard drink containers.
Both Rausing and her husband have had long-running and often public battles against addiction.
British police said they had arrested a 49-year-old man Monday on suspicion of drug possession and a subsequent search of an address in London's tony Belgravia neighborhood related to that arrest turned up Rausing's body later that day.
The man was widely named in the British media but police would not confirm his identity.
Scotland Yard said in a statement Tuesday that further tests were being carried out on Rausing's body after an autopsy was inconclusive. It said officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime division were investigating the case “and the death continues to be treated at this time as unexplained.”
The man arrested in connection with Rausing's death remained under arrest but was receiving medical attention at a location away from the police station, police said. They would not say if the man was under guard.
After the news broke, her parents, Tom and Nancy Kemeny, and the rest of her family paid tribute Tuesday 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.”
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-term 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.
In a diplomatic scandal in 2008, Eva Rausing was arrested outside the U.S. Embassy in London 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 couple's 5 million-pound (then $10 million) London town house. The couple was 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. (AP)
<관련 한글 기사>
충격! 재벌가 며느리, 숨진 채 발견
영국에서 한 억만장자의 부인이 자택에서 숨진 채 발견된 가운데 그 남편이 용의선상에 올라 관심이 쏠리고 있다.
10일 영국 경찰에 따르면 숨진 여성은 에바 라우싱(48)으로, 유명 다국적 포장업체인 테트라팩 (TetraPak)의 설립자 한스 라우싱(80)의 아들인 한스 K. 라우싱(49) 의 부인으로 밝혀졌다.
경찰은 전날 49세의 한 남성을 마약 소지 혐의로 체포, 런던의 고급 주택가인 벨그라비아에 위치한 이 남성의 주소지를 수색하던 중 에바의 시신을 발견했다고 발 표했다.
경찰은 현재 이 남성을 구금하고 마약 소지 혐의와 에바의 사망과 관련한 조사를 진행 중이라고 밝혔지만 남성의 신원 확인 요청은 거부했다.
그러나 영국 언론들은 이 남성이 에바의 남편 한스 K. 라우싱인 것으로 추정된다고 앞다퉈 보도했다.
한편 이들 부부는 몇년 동안 약물 중독에 시달려 온 것으로 알려졌다.
미국 국적인 에바는 2008년 코카인과 헤로인을 가방에 숨긴 채 런던 소재 미 대 사관 건물로 진입하려다 적발됐다. 당시 경찰의 자택수색 결과 소량의 대마초와 코카인, 헤로인이 추가로 발견돼 물의를 빚었다.
선데이타임스가 4월 발표한 '부자 명단 2012'에 따르면 스웨덴 출신의 라우싱가(家)의 총 자산은 43억파운드(약 7조6천억원)에 달한다.
아버지 한스 라우싱은 포브스 선정 올해 세계 부호 순위 56위에 이름을 올렸다.