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British billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing held in connection with wife’s death

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Hans Kristian Rausing and his wife Eva (Alan Davidson/Getty Images)

An American heiress is dead, and a man matching her British husband's description is being held on drug charges. The details are still emerging, but ABC News reports that British billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, is being held on drug charges in connection with the death of his wife, Eva Rausing.

Ms. Rausing, 48, was found dead at the couple's five-story mansion in London by police on Monday. Reuters reported on Wednesday that British media outlets claimed Eva Rausing may have been dead in the house for a week or more before her body was discovered. And in a even more disturbing detail, that Hans Kristian Rausing may have been in the house with her the entire time.

Police have said that a postmortem held at Westminster Mortuary has not yet established a formal cause of death. Mr. Rausing was reported arrested for driving erratically and has since been questioned in connection with his wife's death and for carrying illegal drugs.

This would not be the first drug related incident for Rausing, who is heir to his father's $10 billion Tetra Pak food packaging business. ABC notes that Eva Rausing was arrested in 2008 after she allegedly attempted to smuggle drugs into the U.S. Embassy in London.

When police searched the Rausing's home, they reportedly found cocaine, crack and heroin. The couple were issued a formal caution but charges were later dropped.

However, the couple appeared to have left their troubled past behind them. Rather than follow in his father's business footsteps, Rausing has focused his adult life on philanthropic work. The couple reportedly donated large sums of money to groups combating substance abuse, including The Mentor Foundation.

Police officers stood guard outside the couple's home on Tuesday while Rausing received medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

A statement released by Eva Rausing's family to read, in part:

Eva was a devoted wife for twenty years and mother of four much loved and wonderful children. 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 and asks to be given privacy at this difficult time.

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