Amesbury poisoning: Novichok investigation spreads to Swindon as auto seized

Charlie Rowley

Police seized a auto in the large town of Swindon as part of their probe into the death of 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, who was exposed to Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The 45 year old was admitted to hospital on Saturday June 30th, suffering from the effects of the nerve agent.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, died in hospital at the weekend and her partner Charlie Rowley remains critically ill in hospital.

Couple remains in critical condition after being poisoned by the same nerve agent as an ex-Russian spy. "Charlie is still very unwell and will continue to require specialist, round-the-clock care here at Salisbury District Hospital".

"Dawn will always be remembered by us as a gentle soul who was generous to a fault", the family wrote.

Counter-terror police have said their main line of inquiry is whether Ms Sturgess' death is linked to the first set of poison attacks in Salisbury in March.

Two people were exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in Amesbury on 30 June.

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"It was subsequently taken to DSTL and following further scientific advice, the investigation team also carried out forensic enquiries on the bus as they look to establish the point at which Dawn and Charlie were contaminated with the nerve agent".

Police are now searching for a "contaminated item" that could have exposed the pair to the nerve agent, which is the same substance found in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripel and his daughter Yulia in nearby Salisbury.

The couple were found in their home, about 14km from Salisbury, where a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned in March.

Yulia Skripal was discharged from hospital in April and her father was discharged in May.

However officials have said there is no evidence the pair visited any of the sites in Salisbury which were decontaminated after the attack on the Skripals.

Residents in Amesbury and Salisbury are being warned not to pick up "any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel" in a new advisory following the death of Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess.

Dame Sally said it is "particularly important" for families to take care as the summer holidays begin for children.

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