Police find source of Novichok poisoning in victim's house

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Matthew Rowley

British detectives investigating the poisoning of two people by the nerve agent Novichok in southwestern England said Friday that a small bottle found in the home of one of the victims tested positive for the deadly substance. Her partner, Charlie Rowley, initially was in critical condition, but has regained consciousness.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, from Durrington, died in hospital on Sunday evening after being exposed to the nerve agent the previous weekend.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. They were found to have been poisoned with Novichok, a lethal nerve agent produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The incident occured just miles from where ex-spy Sergei Skripal, and daughter Yulia, were attacked with the substance in Salisbury in March.

Cops said a small bottle was recovered after searching the scene of Rowley's house in Amesbury.

'Following those tests, scientists have now confirmed to us that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok.

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More tests were being carried out to try and establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated the Skripals and inquiries were under way to establish where the bottle came from, the statement added.

Officers believe the drug came from Russian Federation in an attempt to murder former spy Mr Skripal.

Today's discovery has been called "significant and encouraging" by Wiltshire Police.

A police auto was transported from Monkton Park in Chippenham, Wits, while a rapid response vehicle was taken from the Air Ambulance base in Semington, Wilts.

An inquest into Ms Sturgess' death is set to open and adjourn in Salisbury on next Thursday.

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