"Detectives have launched a murder inquiry after a woman who was exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in Amesbury, Wiltshire, died in hospital this evening, Sunday, 8 July. She has been formally identified as 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, from Durrington. Her family has been informed and is receiving support from specially trained family liaison officers," the police said in a statement.
According to the statement, a man, 45, who was also taken ill following exposure to the nerve agent remains in critical condition.
The UK police announced late on Thursday that the couple, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, were believed to have handled an item allegedly contaminated with the same Novichok military-grade nerve agent which was used in the recent attack on Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, located several miles from Amesbury.
On March 4, Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury. The United Kingdom and its allies have accused Moscow of having orchestrated the attack with what UK experts claim was the A234 nerve agent, albeit without presenting any proof. Russian authorities have firmly refuted the allegations as groundless.