By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
British billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his of American socialite wife, Eva, authorities announced today.
Police have not interviewed or charged the 49-year-old Rausing, who is being treated for alcohol withdrawal, a detective inspector revealed at an inquest, Sky News reported.
Although the inquest was told that Rausing had been arrested on suspicion of murder, he has not been charged, and police are still investigating the case an "unexplained death."
An autopsy did not establish how the 48-year-old mother of four teenagers died; toxicology and other test results are pending. One theory is that she overdosed.
A small amount of drugs were found when police discovered her body after her husband was arrested Monday for driving under the influence, the inspector said. She was found in a bedroom of the couple's five-story townhouse in London's exclusive Belgravia neighborhood.
She may have been dead a week, according to some news reports. The Guardian reports the body had "undergone a degree of decomposition" by the time it was found.
The Rausings, whose close friends of Prince Charles, have a well-documented history of drug and alcohol addiction.
In 2008, police found heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in the couple's home after Eva Rausing was arrested for trying to bring heroin and crack into the U.S. Embassy in London. All charges were eventually dropped.
Her mother, Nancy Kemeny, told the Telegraph that Eva Rausing had been due to return to the United States to enter a rehabilitation clinic in California before her death. She said she believed her daughter's death was "linked to a heart condition exacerbated by flying," the London paper writes.
Kemeny told The Daily Mirror that her daughter had a pacemaker after having a heart valve replaced.
She also said her daughter began using hard drugs while attending Occidental College in California to study pharmacology. She was a freshman when the future president of the United States, Barack Obama, was a senior.
Eva Kemeny Rausing, the daughter of a retired Pepsi executive, Tom Kemeny, met her future husband in 1980 in a drug-rehab clinic.
Hans Rausing's family is worth an estimated $5.5 billion, ranking it as Britain's 12th richest fortune.
Most news accounts refer to Rausing as "Tetra Pak heir." Today, the global food processing and packaging company issued this statement regarding Rausing's connection to the company:
"For clarification, please note that Hans Rausing, together with his immediate family, exited all of their interests in Tetra Pak, and the Tetra Laval Group, in 1995. Any reference that either Hans or any of his offspring continues to hold an interest in the group, or is involved with it in any other way, would be factually wrong.
"Furthermore, since it is 17 years since Hans and his immediate family exited the group, it would be inappropriate for Tetra Laval to comment on this private, tragic matter."
A Guardian columnist writes that the Rausings' saga "is the oldest story - of the law's viciousness towards the ordinary, and its polite reticence towards the wealthy, and it feels like the white noise of the age."
"Eva Rausing, a rich, attractive and insatiable drug addict, died in mysterious circumstances in a wedding cake mansion in Belgravia, like a Tatler story gone wrong. Two things are interesting, beyond the natural cognitive dissonance of a "woman with everything" being exposed, in the end, as having nothing. Her death thwarts the populist fantasy of what great wealth should do - that is, bring joy: those photographs of Rausing in Barbados, haunted in a synthetic paradise, shake the basic assumptions of an acquisitive society. These assumptions are a fiction created by the fiction pedlars of advertising - products bring happiness, therefore the ability to amass them must bring happiness too - and they are all junk."
Eva Rausing is expected to be buried in South Carolina, her mother said.