Eva Rausing: Wife of Billionaire’s Son Found Dead, Husband Arrested

Philanthropist and recovering addict Eva Rausing's life of privilege ended amid a spiral of drugs and the arrest of her husband, Hans.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Dave Benett/Getty Images

Hans Kristian Rausing and his wife Eva at a charity gala in 2003

The son of Tetra Pak founder Han Rausing has been taken in police custody, after his wife was found dead in their London home.

Hans Kristan Rausing, whose family was listed the 12th richest in Britain in last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, was stopped by police on Monday after he was seen driving erratically, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The family’s fortune is estimated at $10 billion.

(LIST: The Top 25 Crimes of the Century)

The 49-year-old was arrested after drugs were reportedly found in his car. When police then searched his London home, they discovered the deceased body of his American-born wife Eva.

On Tuesday night he was transferred to an undisclosed hospital, where he is currently receiving treatment.

Scotland Yard has confirmed that they arrested one man in connection to Mrs. Rausing’s death, but they have so far refused to identify him as her husband.

(MORE: Police Try to Shed Light on Billionaire Death)

Due to the condition of her body, pathologists were not able to establish the cause of death. The results of further toxicology tests are pending.

It is speculated that Mrs. Rausing might have been dead for several days before her body was found. Her death is currently being treated as “unexplained.”

She is, however, suspected to have died of a drug overdose.

Mr. and Mrs. Rausing are both reportedly long-term drug users, which they have spent years struggling to overcome.

Their mutual drug addiction was even the reason the couple first met, at a U.S. rehabilitation clinic in the early 1990s, according to the New York Times.

(MORE: Bizarre Crime: Man Assaults Girlfriend with Steak Sauce over ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’)

In 2008 Mrs. Rausing was arrested for drug possession after she attempted to pass security at the U.S. embassy in London with a handbag containing crack cocaine.

The couple was arrested, and more drugs found at their home, but they were let off with a warning following a flurry of letters of support from “charities and influential friends,” as the New York Times reported.

Mrs. Rausing was also a trustee of the anti-drug charity Mentor UK. Between 1998 and 2010 she donated more than $750,000, to the charity. Although she left its board of directors in 2005, she continued involvement as a patron until 2010.

A fellow trustee of Mentor UK, Lord Mancroft, who was previously its chairman, told the Daily Telegraph that Mrs. Rausing was “sweet, charming and childlike, very bright and very dedicated to the cause.”

However, he acknowledged that her struggles with drug abuse had been “kind of obvious.”

(GRAPHIC: How Addiction Affects Your Brain)

He revealed that it “became apparent in the last few years. Last time I saw her it was apparent she was not well. She became less and less involved in the charity and I suspect she withdrew from other things.

Alarming photos emerged in May of the couple looking disheveled and emaciated.

Lord Mancroft went on to praise Mr. Rausing as a “very nice, quiet, gentle man” and said the couple “went through thick and thin” together.

“They were always together. She was the doer. He didn’t want to have his name on things, he didn’t want to join boards. He was happy to write the cheques.”

He said Mrs. Rausing’s death was “terrible for Hans and his poor children.”

Mrs. Rausing was herself born into wealth and privilege. Her father, Tom Kemeny, is a former Pepsi Cola executive who reportedly owns houses in South Carolina, Barbados and London.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, Mrs Rausing’s parents said they were “deeply saddened” by the death of their “beloved daughter.”

(MORE: Bizarre Crime: Drunk Driver Arrested with Zebra, Parrot in Car)

The statement continued, “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.”

Hans Rausing and his wife Märit also issued a statement, saying they were “deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of their daughter-in-law Eva Louise Rausing.

“They ask that their privacy be respected at this sad time.”

MORE: Can Addictive Behaviors Be Predicted in Preschool?