The mother poisoned by Novichok in Wiltshire has died in hospital after suffering massive heart failure.
Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were infected by the deadly nerve agent after picking up a contaminated item near where ex-spy Sergei Skripal was found unconscious in Salisbury.
The mother-of-three, who struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, suffered a heart attack after coming into contact with the agent.
Mr Rowley remains critically ill in hospital.
Scotland Yard said they have launched a murder investigation – the second major probe involving the nerve agent this year, following the case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.
British diplomat Julian King, the European Commissioner responsible for the EU’s security union, said: ‘Those behind this are murderers.’
The couple were exposed to the agent at Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury – just a four-minute walk away from the bench outside The Maltings shopping centre where the Skripals were found poisoned earlier this year.
A police officer was also treated for symptoms there, but was last night given the all clear by medics.
The possibility that the two investigations might be linked is ‘clearly a key line of inquiry for police’, the Met said.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: ‘I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones.
‘Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder.
‘The Government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail