Hans Kristian Rausing, husband of late millionairess Eva Rausing, is due in court today charged with delaying her burial.
American-born Eva Rausing was found dead in the bedroom of the couple’s London house in Cadogan Place, Belgravia, on 9 July.
Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, whose family is said to be worth more than £4bn, has been charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of her body.
He is due to appear at West London Magistrates’ Court later.
Hans Kristian Rausing, husband of late millionairess Eva Rausing, is due in court today charged with delaying her burial
Police are treating the death of Eva Rausing as “unexplained” and a post-mortem examination held last week failed to establish a formal cause of death.
Eva Rausing was stopped by police on 9 July on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A subsequent search of the couple’s home led to the discovery of Eva Rausing’s body.
The couple, who have four children, were well known for their philanthropic activities having donated millions over to years to charities, especially those working in the field of drug abuse and rehabilitation.
The Rausing family made billions from the Tetra Pak carton firm.
Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing may have lived with his wife Eva’s dead body for up to four days before it was discovered by police.
Despite living in a vast $24 million Belgravia mansion, the couple – who had fought a long battle against addiction to hard drugs – had become increasingly reclusive, confining themselves to two squalid rooms.
Details of the extraordinary and tragic lifestyle of one of Britain’s richest couples emerged as Scotland Yard continued to investigate the “unexplained death” of 48-year-old Eva Rausing.
Investigators now believe Eva Rausing may have been dead for three or four days in an upstairs bedroom of the house before being discovered by police.
Officers are studying phone, text and email messages to see when she last used them and CCTV security footage to try to discover whether Hans Kristian Rausing spent time in the house during the period his wife was dead.
One friend who claimed to have recently visited the Cadogan Place address said the couple has been living virtually in two rooms which he described as a “drugs den”. Much of the sprawling house, he said, was “unused”.
The friend added: “It was total squalor. Really messy. You wouldn’t believe they were billionaires. It shows the effects of drugs.
“They couldn’t look after themselves or their house. They only used two rooms despite having dozens. It’s very sad indeed.”
Hans Kristian Rausing may have lived with his wife Eva’s dead body for up to four days before it was discovered by police
The couple is said to have become “reclusive” in recent months and when he went out Hans Kristian Rausing chose often to use the vast property’s rear entrance.
Last night Hans Kristian Rausing was said to be in a secure “medical facility” receiving treatment. He is said not to have suffered any self-inflicted injuries but to be having treatment for a breakdown.
Recent pictures show Hans Kristian Rausing to be a shadow of his former self and it is understood that when officers tried to question him – initially about the possession of drugs and hours later about the discovery of his wife’s body – he struggled to speak coherently and failed to answer their questions.
Both Hans Kristian and Eva Rausing – friends of Prince Charles – have fought a long, painful battle against drug addiction and both were cautioned four years ago by Scotland Yard for drug offences.
They met while in a drug rehabilitation centre in the United States and friends say they struggled to beat their addictions.
Socialite Liz Brewer, a friend of Eva Rausing, said: “She was totally addicted and was trying to get off it.
“The last time I saw her was a couple of months ago. She had cut herself off from people for a while.
“Eva tried hard to turn things around and went to about every rehab around.
“I heard she may have been dead in the house for a while, but it was rare for him [Hans] to be out of the house for more than a few hours.”
Jules Hearn, a friend for 15 years, said Eva Rausing’s death was “inevitable”. She said her friend had resorted to blood transfusions after years of drug abuse, and relied on a pacemaker to regulate her heart.
After laying a rose outside the Rausings’ house yesterday, she said: “She was a troubled soul. Everyone thought this was going to happen one day. She tried to help herself again and again but it is an illness.”
Police are examining CCTV footage to track the couple’s movements as well as those of anyone entering or leaving the house.
Three members of staff have been questioned. Bank records were also being examined for signs of recent withdrawals or transactions.
A post-mortem examination failed to reveal how Eva Rausing died and toxicology and other tests are under way. There were no obvious injuries or wounds to the body and it is likely to be several days before full results are known.
Scotland Yard would not comment yesterday on whether any Class A drugs were found at the Cadogan Place house where Eva Rausing and her husband had lived for 13 years.
It emerged yesterday that Hans Kristian Rausing was stopped and arrested on Monday while driving erratically in Wandsworth, South London.
He was found to be in possession of Class A drugs and this led police to search the six-storey house where his wife’s body was found.
Neither Hans Kristian or Eva Rausing have fallen foul of the law since the incidents in 2008 when she was stopped trying to take drugs into the US Embassy and heroin and cocaine were subsequently found in their home.
Hans Kristian Rausing’s father, Dr. Hans Rausing, 86, and mother Marit are said to be monitoring the progress of the investigation and their son’s treatment from their 900-acre estate in East Sussex.
Eva Rausing’s devastated parents Tom Kemeny, an executive with Pepsi Cola, and his wife Nancy, who lived close to her in Cadogan Place, have put out a statement acknowledging how “she bravely fought her health issues for years”.
Hans Kristian Rausing, Tetra Pak cartons billionaire and one of Britain’s richest men, was being questioned last night about the mysterious death of his wife Eva.
Hours after Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs, his wife Eva’s body was found in a bedroom at their London home.
Hans Kristian Rausing, a father-of-four, an heir to the $7.2 billion Tetra Pak drinks carton fortune, was being questioned in connection with what Scotland Yard called an “unexplained death”.
Last night police said Hans Kristian Rausing remained under arrest but had been taken to hospital for medical treatment.
Officials refused to discuss why but the news prompted speculation that he had suffered some kind of breakdown. Earlier, security staff was called in to help download CCTV cameras from the Chelsea mansion and surrounding area.
Hans Kristian Rausing was being questioned last night about the mysterious death of his wife Eva
A post mortem examination was carried out yesterday afternoon on 48-year-old Eva Rausing, but failed to find the cause of death. Further toxicology tests will take place to determine whether drugs or alcohol were responsible.
Her husband of almost 20 years was arrested on suspicion of driving erratically in South London at lunchtime on Monday and was found to be carrying Class A drugs. Officers searched his home to see if more illicit substances were there, and found his wife’s body.
Specialist police teams carried out tests throughout yesterday at the six-storey house in Cadogan Place.
Details of their son’s arrest and daughter-in-law’s death were broken to 86-year-old Hans Rausing and his wife Marit at their 900-acre East Sussex estate. They issued a statement saying they were “deeply shocked and saddened”.
Eva Rausing’s father Tom Kemeny is a former Pepsi executive who owns an island off South Carolina and a property in Barbados with his wife Nancy. The couple also has a $16million property near their late daughter’s home in Cadogan Place.
They said of their daughter: “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. She bravely fought her health issues for many years. The family is devastated at her death.”
Eva Rausing was a co-patron with the Duchess of Cambridge of the drug charity Action on Addiction. Officials said they were “devastated” by the tragedy.
Within hours of the discovery of the body, police seized security CCTV footage from inside and outside the property focusing on Cadogan Place and a mews at the rear.
Yesterday morning a detective showed a security expert out through a back door of the house and walked up and down the mews lane, working out which CCTV cameras had a view of the Rausings’ back door. An hour later, the security technician removed a CCTV hard disk drive from inside the house.
Neighbors include Philip Havers QC – whose father Michael was Attorney General and then Lord Chancellor before becoming Baron Havers. His brother is the actor Nigel Havers.
In recent weeks, Hans Kristian and Eva Rausing had seen out walking in the area. He often wore a baseball cap while clutching a pack of rolling tobacco. His wife wore cut-off trousers and open-toed sandals.
In addition to their London property, the couple had an 11-bedroom beachside mansion in Barbados and an apartment on The World, a cruise ship for passengers who need to be off shore for tax-avoidance purposes.