Tetra Pak heir arrested on suspicion of murdering wife

Hans Kristian Rausing in hospital and still not fit to be questioned by police over death

Hans Kristian Rausing, the heir to the £5.4bn Tetra Pak packaging fortune, has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife but is still not fit to be questioned, it emerged yesterday.

Mr Rausing, 49, was arrested on Monday though no evidence has yet emerged to suggest that his wife Eva, 48, whose body found in the bedroom of their central London home, was killed. Police are treating the death as "unexplained". Mr Rausing remains in a secure hospital where he is being treated for alcohol withdrawal.

Mrs Rausing, who has four children, may have lain undiscovered for days in the £50m five-storey Georgian townhouse at Cadogan Square, Belgravia, before she was found by police. A post-mortem proved inconclusive and further test results are due.

Detective Inspector Sharon Marman told the opening of an inquest into Mrs Rausing's death yesterday that Mr Rausing was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on Monday. Police found drugs in the car and then discovered his wife's "lifeless body" when they searched the house.

Mr Rausing was arrested and is now under medical supervision. "He has been arrested on suspicion of her murder and we await notification of when he will be fit to be interviewed," said DI Marman. It is thought a decision will be made next week about when Mrs Rausing's body will be released. An autopsy has been carried out by a pathologist, with a second doctor present.

Mr Rausing, whose Swedish grandfather Ruben Rausing founded what became the world's largest food packaging company, was represented at Westminster Coroner's Court yesterday by Neil Saunders, QC. The philanpthropist, who did not enter the family business, and his wife, the daughter of a wealthy Pepsi Cola executive, have both struggled for many years with drug problems. In 2008, £2,000 of crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin was found at their home. Charges against them were dropped in return for their accepting a police caution.

The couple were arrested in April that year after Mrs Rausing was caught with drugs as she tried to enter a party at the US Embassy in London. Court documents revealed she was carrying about 10g of crack cocaine, 2.5g of heroin and 2.35g of diethylpropion – a banned stimulant and appetite suppressant. A further drugs stash was also found in her Renault Clio.

She confessed to making a "serious mistake, which I very much regret … I hope in due course to give purpose to get back on track and become the person I truly want to be".

Her family hired a surveillance team to shadow her at a cost of £100,000 a month, to disrupt any drug deals in a desperate attempt to protect her, the Daily Mirror reported yesterday.

"We followed her covertly for as long as possible until we knew she was about to buy drugs and then we'd disrupt it by beeping horns," a member of the team told the newspaper.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her in Latakia
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report