Dawn Sturgess, the UK woman who was poisoned with Novichok last week in Salisbury, has died.
The 44 year old mother of three fell violently ill last Saturday along with her partner Charlie Rowely after coming into contact with the nerve agent. Rowley, 45, remains in critical condition.
The Guardian reports a murder investigation has been opened by law enforcement and officials expressed their condolences for the victims.
Assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK Counter Terrorism policing said: “This is shocking and tragic news. Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely difficult time.
“The 45-year-old man who fell ill with Dawn remains critically ill in hospital and our thoughts are with him and his family as well.
“This terrible news has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act.”
Prime Minister Theresa May also expressed her condolences and pledged the commitment of the government to find the answers to Dawn’s murder and explain how two UK citizens were exposed to a deadly nerve agent in Wiltshire, The Guardian reports.
Prime minister Theresa May said: “I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones.
“Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder.
“The government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy.”
Officials are operating on the theory that Sturgess and Rowley were exposed to items contaminated with the same Novichok that poisoned the Skripals in March.