Britain opens murder case on woman dead from Russian nerve agent

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie  Charles Rowley Amesbury Incident

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Charles Rowley Amesbury Incident

London's Metropolitan Police said Dawn Sturgess, 44, passed away on Sunday in a hospital in Salisbury.

'Their reaction was so severe, it resulted in Dawn's death and Charlie being critically ill.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "appalled and shocked by the death", and announced that it is now being investigated as a murder.

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.

The March attack on the Skripals prompted the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the Cold War as allies sided with Britain's view that Moscow was either responsible or had lost control of the nerve agent.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK Counter-Terrorism policing, said: "This bad news has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act".

Basu says more than 100 police are working to try and search all areas where Sturgess and Rowley had been before they became ill nine days ago.

The U.N. chemical weapons watchdog confirmed the finding in the Skripal case. Britain blames Russian Federation for the attack, however, Russian Federation has denied the allegation.

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: 'It is utterly appalling that a British citizen has died having being exposed to a Novichok nerve agent.

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There is growing unease among some people in Salisbury and Amesbury that they are not being given enough information.

The Britons were initially thought to have taken an overdose of heroin or crack cocaine. Meanwhile, a red Ford Transit van in which Mr Rowley was a passenger on June 30 - the day after the couple were contaminated - is being tested by the Government defence research laboratory at Porton Down in Wiltshire.

So far, officials have been careful to not say definitively that the two poisonings are connected.

Senior Russian lawmaker Sergei Zheleznyak, a member of the ruling United Russia party, also accused Britain of trying to sully the July 16 summit.

Mr Rowley remains at hospital in critical condition. After reviving from comas, both were released from the hospital to an undisclosed location. Her father was discharged on May 18.

The hospital's medical director, Christine Blanshard, told the BBC that hospital staff worked tirelessly to save Sturgess. "They did everything they could", she said.

He said no one else in the Amesbury and Salisbury region where the couple lived in southwestern England has shown any sign of Novichok poisoning, with over 20 people who had specifically screened for Novichok exposure cleared.

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

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