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Multimillionaire Hans Kristian Rausing on Wednesday pleaded guilty to charges that he "prevented the lawful and decent burial" of his wife, the latest chapter in a bizarre and gruesome story that has captivated Britain.
A postmortem examination found that 48-year-old Eva Rausing probably died on May 7, but her body remained in the couple’s London home for more than two months until police found her when searching the apartment after her husband was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs, the New York Times reports. Her decomposing body was taped up in a cocoon of clothing, linens, and garbage bags. Although cocaine was found in the autopsy, the cause of her death remains unknown.
Hans told the court that he had been unable to grasp his wife’s death. In a statement to police after his arrest, he said he didn’t have a "coherent recollection of the events leading up to and since Eva’s death," and that he tried to "carry on" as though she had not died.
The BBC reports that Rausing’s doctor recalled that his patient told him, "I know it sounds selfish but I just didn’t want her to leave." He was released on bail on the condition that he reside in a medical facility and leave only in the company of hospital staff, and will be sentenced later.
The couple, in line to inherit part of the Rausing family’s TetraPak fortune, had struggled with drug abuse for years.