Eva Rausing death: Billionaire’s body hidden under shroud of bin bags

Billionaire Eva Rausing was found dead at her Belgravia mansion beneath bin bags, sheets and clothing stuck ­together with gaffer tape, a court heard yesterday.

Officers found her body after gaining entry to a sealed annexe at her £70 million London property where household items were strewn across the floor and flies were buzzing around.

West London Magistrates Court heard American-born mother-of-four Mrs Rausing was last seen alive two months ago – on 3 May – by a financial consultant. She had returned home on 29 April and staff said she looked “unwell” and had a swollen face and right leg.

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Hours before the 48-year-old’s body was discovered, police had arrested her husband, Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing, 49, after his car was spotted being driven erratically, and found a bag of unopened letters addressed to his wife.

When they asked him where she was, he “welled up” and said she had left for America two weeks ago.

Rausing appeared from ­custody at the magistrates court yesterday charged with preventing her lawful burial.

Brinkman May, prosecuting, said: “Asked where in California she was, he became vague and was unable to say where she was. He was arrested and taken to the police station and the address was searched.

“It was there that the body was found. The property is an extremely large, multi-million pound residence in Chelsea and Kensington, with six floors and over 50 rooms.

“When officers entered they were aware of a strong smell of decomposition from the second floor. They continued to search and discovered part of the floor had been cut off to form a secure annex.

“Various doors of the annex were barricaded or locked and silver gaffer tape was around the bedroom door frame. Officers entered and noticed a stronger smell of decomposition.

“The bedroom was in a state of disarray, with clothes and household items on the floor, the windows open and there were house flies.

“On the floor to the right of the bed they found a large quantity of clothes, bed sheets and bin bags, several feet deep and stuck together with gaffer tape, under which they discovered the remains of a dead body in an advanced state of decomposition. It seems to suggest she had remained at that location for some time.”

Rausing was granted bail with a residence order at a psychiatric hospital, which he must not leave unless accompanied by staff until his next appearance at Isleworth Crown Court.

A statement issued on behalf of his parents said: “Hans and Marit Rausing and their families are mourning the death of their son’s beloved wife, Eva.

“Her death, and the details of subsequent events, are a reminder of the distorted reality of drug addiction. They desperately hope that their dear son, Hans, may find the strength to begin the long and hard journey of detoxification and rehabilitation.

“They ask now for some ­privacy to grieve.”