Britain opens murder case on woman dead from Russian nerve agent

Britain opens murder case on woman dead from Russian nerve agent

Police say Sturgess and Rowley likely picked up a syringe or vial containing the nerve agent, CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports.

The 44-year-old was found unconscious at a residential address along with her partner Charlie Rowley, on June 30. He remains in a critical condition.

British police say a woman in England has died after being exposed to Novichok, the nerve agent that also poisoned a former Russian spy and his daughter there in March.

British police said Monday they believe the latest victims of poisoning by a nerve agent must have handled the material's container and been subjected to a "high dose" of the lethal poison.

The possibility that the two investigations might be linked is "clearly a key line of inquiry for police", the Met said.

The head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said Sturgess, a mother of three, died as the result of "an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act".

United Kingdom authorities quickly attributed their condition to exposure to "Novichok" - the substance the United Kingdom claims was used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March this year.

Yulia said that the poisoning had turned her life "upside down" and that she and her father were "lucky to have survived this assassination attempt".

"We consider that it is a danger not only for the British, but for other Europeans", he said.

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The Skripals have been released from hospital but the investigation into the attack on them continues. Salisbury is in the county of Wiltshire, where Rowley and Sturgess both also lived.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down confirmed on Wednesday that Sturgess and Rowley had been exposed to Novichok.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is now chairing a meeting of the government's emergency committee Cobra.

They can not absolutely rule out this is a separate case even though there is no reason Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess would be targeted in the way the Skripals were - and the close proximity between the two cases clearly points to something having been left behind from the first. Moscow has rejected the accusations and has hit back by expelling Western diplomats.

The investigation is being led by detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network and about 100 detectives are working round the clock, he said.

"Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being treated as murder", May said.

Britain blames the Russian state for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter - an allegation Moscow strongly denies.

"This is, let's put it this way, more of a British problem", Peskov said.

George Freeman, a Conservative lawmaker, tweeted that her death "raises quite serious questions" about the assurances from health officials that the risk to the wider public was low.

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